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Spatial strategies as a place branding tool in the region of Ruhr
Place Branding and Public Diplomacy  (IF),  Pub Date : 2020-05-20, DOI: 10.1057/s41254-020-00168-1
Evangelos Asprogerakas, Kiki Mountanea

The shaping of a strong, recognizable and thus attractive identity of a place is closely linked to the process of effective planning, both on strategic and physical level. Heritage is a common branding tool that relied on the exploitation and presentation of, among others, urban forms related to the past. This research seeks to connect spatial strategies and place branding through the case study of the Region of Ruhr. The Ruhr Valley has long been linked to the industrial history of Europe due to the concentration of mining and steel industry. Today the region is undergoing a restructuring process. This work will focus on the strategies and actions implemented with an emphasis on the development of the Emscher Landshaftspark developed in the 1990s. The aim is to examine the gradual creation of a new identity through the sites’ transformation by identifying typological characteristics among the network’s flagship projects. Α key question is whether individual interventions compose a comprehensive and time-resistant branding strategy in conjunction with directions and practices of spatial planning formulating a distinctive model. The function of the main narrative as a framework of governance processes is going to be explored.