Research in both public administration and place development has identified a need to develop more participatory approaches to governing cities and regions. Scholars have identified place branding as one of several potential policy instruments to enable more participatory place development. Recently, academics working in diverse disciplines, including political studies, public administration, and regional development have suggested that an alternative, bottom-up, more participatory approach to place branding could be employed. Such an interdisciplinary approach would use iterative communication exchanges within a network of diverse stakeholders including residents to better foster stakeholder participation, contribute to sustainable development, and deliver substantive social justice and increased citizen satisfaction. Building on this research and using an exploratory, qualitative, case-study methodology, our aim was to observe and analyze such interactions and communicative exchanges in practice. Drawing on the experience of the Australian state of Tasmania, we studied stakeholder reactions to the participatory place branding approach. We found that although participants were initially skeptical and identified many barriers to implementing participatory place branding, they simultaneously became excited by its possibilities and able to identify how many of the barriers could be transcended.

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SAGE open
Department of Public Administration and Sociology (DPAS)