Town Planning Review

Green city branding or achieving sustainable urban development? Reflections of two winning cities of the European Green Capital Award: Stockholm and Hamburg

Town Planning Review (2020), 91, (4), 373–395.

Abstract

This paper uses the European Green Capital Award (EGCA) as a focus point to analyse green city marketing. It first argues that green place branding is a process steeped in historicial and political features that are specific to a place. Second, it explores the relationship between local environmental policy making and green place branding through a critical analysis of two European cities – Stockholm and Hamburg – which were European Green Capital (EGC) in 2010 and 2011 respectively. The paper concludes that with the EGCA, local governments were able to generate public attention, mobilise firms and develop new public–private partnerships to get the economic benefits that accompany enhanced green technology exports and greater ecotourism. The experience of the two cities considered here therefore suggests that an ambitious environmental agenda and ‘green’ city branding can be compatible.

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References

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HÅRSMAN, B. and WIJKMARK, B. (2013), ‘Stockholm: from ugly duckling to Europe’s first Green Capital’, in Metzger and Rader Olsson (eds), 10-50. Google Scholar

HARVEY, D. (1989), ‘From managerialism to entrepreneurialism: the transformation in urban politics in late capitalism’, Geografiska Annaler B, 71, 3-18. Google Scholar

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SAVITCH, H. and KANTOR, P. (2002), Cities in the International Market Place, Princeton, NJ, Princeton University Press. Google Scholar

STILGENBAUER, J. and MCBRIDE, J. (2010), ‘Reconstruction of urban forests in Hamburg and Dresden after World War II’, Landscape Journal, 29, 144-60. Google Scholar

STONE, C. (1989), ‘Paradigms, power, and urban leadership’, in B. D. Jones (ed.), Leadership and Politics, Kansas, University Press of Kansas, 135-59. Google Scholar

SWYNGEDOUW, E. and KAIKA, M. (2000), ‘The environment of the city or … the urbanisation of nature’, in G. Bridge and S. Watson (eds), A Companion to the City, Oxford, Blackwell, 567-80. Google Scholar

UNEP (UNITED NATIONS ENVIRONMENT PROGRAMME) (2008), Green Jobs: Towards Decent Work in a Sustainable, Low Carbon World, Nairobi, UNEP. Google Scholar

VORLEY, T. and NELLES, J. (2010), ‘Innovation policy as industrial policy: some lessons from Hamburg’s regional innovation system’, Local Economy, 25, 631-49. Google Scholar

WHILE, A., JONAS, A. E. G. and GIBBS, D. (2004), ‘The environment and the entrepreneurial city: searching for the urban “sustainability fix” in Manchester and Leeds’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 28, 549-69. Google Scholar

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ALSTON, L., THRAINN, E. and NORTH, D. (1996), Empirical Studies in Institutional Change, New York, Oxford University Press. Google Scholar

ANDERBERG, S. and CLARK, E. (2013), ‘Green sustainable Öresund region, or eco-branding Copenhagen and Malmö?’, in I. Vojnovic (ed.), Sustainability: A Global Urban Context, East Lansing, Michigan State University Press, 591–610. Google Scholar

ANDERSSON, I. (2016), ‘“Green cities” going greener? Local environmental policy-making and place branding in the “Greenest City in Europe”’, European Planning Studies, 24, 1197–215. Google Scholar

BALDUCCI, A. (2003), ‘Policies, plans and projects: governing the city-region of Milan’, DISP, 152, 59–70. Google Scholar

BAURIEDL, S. and WISSEN, M. (2002), ‘Post-Fordist transformation, the sustainability concept and social relations with nature: a case study of the Hamburg region’, Journal of Environment Policy Planning, 4, 107–21. Google Scholar

BEATLEY, T. (2012), Green Cities of Europe: Global Lessons on Green Urbanism, Washington, DC, Island Press. Google Scholar

BECKER, S., BLANCHET, T. and KUNZE, C. (2016), ‘Social movements and urban energy policy: assessing contexts, agency and outcomes of remunicipalisation processes in Hamburg and Berlin’, Utilities Policy, 41, 228–36. Google Scholar

BORCH, C. and KORNBERGER, M. (eds) (2015), Urban Commons: Rethinking the City, London, Routledge. Google Scholar

BRADLEY, K., HULT, A. and CARS, G. (2013), ‘From eco-modernizing to political ecologizing: future challenges for the Green Capital’, in J. Metzger and A. Rader Olsson (eds), Sustainable Stockholm: Exploring Urban Sustainability in Europe’s Greenest City, New York, Routledge, 168–94. Google Scholar

BUSCH, H. and ANDERBERG, S. (2015), ‘Green attraction: transnational municipal climate networks and green city branding’, Journal of Management and Sustainability, 5, 1–16. Google Scholar

CAMPBELL, S. (1996), ‘Green cities, growing cities, just cities? Urban planning and the contradictions of sustainable development’, Journal of the American Planning Association, 62, 296–312. Google Scholar

CAPROTTI, F. (2014), ‘Critical research on eco-cities? A walk through the Sino-Singapore Tianjin ecocity, China’, Cities, 36, 10–17. Google Scholar

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CITY OF STOCKHOLM (2011), Final Report: Stockholm the First European Green Capital, http://international.stockholm.se/globalassets/ovriga-bilder-och-filer/miljohuvudstadsrapport_eng_webb_js.pdf (accessed 2 December 2016). Google Scholar

CITY OF STOCKHOLM (2015), Stockholm: The first European Green Capital, http://international.stock-holm.se/globalassets/stockholm-first-european-green-capital--2.pdf (accessed 2 December 2016). Google Scholar

DANIELZYK, R. and WOOD, G. (2004), ‘Innovative strategies of political regionalization: the case of North-Rhine Westphalia’, European Planning Studies, 12, 191–207. Google Scholar

DAVIES, A. R. and MULLIN, S. J. (2010), ‘Greening the economy: interrogating sustainability innovations beyond the mainstream’, Journal of Economic Geography, 11, 793–816. Google Scholar

DEMAZIÈRE, C. (2002), ‘Antwerp’, in C. Ember and M. Ember (eds), Encyclopedia of Urban Cultures, New York, Grolier, 205–11. Google Scholar

DEMAZIÈRE, C. (2018), ‘Strategic spatial planning in a situation of fragmented local government: the case of France’, disP: The Planning Review, 54, 58–76 Google Scholar

EUROPEAN COMMISSION (2009), The Expert Panel’s Evaluation Work & Final Recommendations for the European Green Capital Award of 2010 and 2011, Brussels, European Commission, 23 January 2009, http://www.muenster.de/stadt/greencapital/eval-report_finalist.pdf (accessed 12 December 2016). Google Scholar

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FLORIDA, R. (2002), ‘The economic geography of talent’, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 92, 743–55. Google Scholar

GIBBS, D. (2000), ‘Ecological modernisation, regional economic development and regional development agencies’, Geoforum, 31, 9–19. Google Scholar

GIBBS, D. and JONAS, A.E.G. (2000), ‘Governance and regulation in local environmental policy: the utility of a regime approach’, Geoforum, 31, 299–313. Google Scholar

GLAESER, E. (2011), The Triumph of the City, New York, Basic Books. Google Scholar

GUDMUNDSSON, H. (2015), ‘The EGCA: its role, evaluation criteria and policy implications’, Tosji Keikaku, 64, 3–7. Google Scholar

GULSRUD, N. M., KRAJTER OSTOIĆ, S., FAEHNLE, M., MARIC, B., PALONIEMI, R., PEARLMUTTER, D. and SIMSON, A. J. (2017), ‘Challenges to governing urban green infrastructure in Europe: the case of the European Green Capital Award’, in D. Pearlmutter, C. Calfapietra, R. Samson, L. O’Brien, S. Krajter Ostoić, G. Sanesi Rocío and A. del Amo (eds), The Urban Forest: Cultivating Green Infrastructure for People and the Environment, Berlin, Springer, 235–58. Google Scholar

HAMMER, S., KAMAL-CHAOUI, L., ROBERT, A. and PLOUIN, M. (2011), Cities and Green Growth: A Conceptual Framework (OECD Regional Development Working Papers 2011/08), Paris, OECD Publishing. Google Scholar

HÅRSMAN, B. and WIJKMARK, B. (2013), ‘Stockholm: from ugly duckling to Europe’s first Green Capital’, in Metzger and Rader Olsson (eds), 10–50. Google Scholar

HARVEY, D. (1989), ‘From managerialism to entrepreneurialism: the transformation in urban politics in late capitalism’, Geografiska Annaler B, 71, 3–18. Google Scholar

JACKSON, T. (2007), ‘Mainstreaming sustainability in local economic development practice’, Local Economy, 22, 12–26. Google Scholar

JOUVE, B. and LEFEVRE, C. (2002), Métropoles ingouvernables, Paris, Elsevier. Google Scholar

KABISCH, N., QURESHI, S. and HAASE, D. (2015), ‘Human–environment interactions in urban green spaces: a systematic review of contemporary issues and prospects for future research’, Environmental Impact Assessment Review, 50, 25–34. Google Scholar

LEDUCQ, D., SCARWELL, H.-J. and INGALLINA, P. (eds) (2017), Connaissance, gouvernance et objectifs de la ville durable en Asie, Bonn, Peter Lang. Google Scholar

LITTKE, H. (2015), ‘Planning the green walkable city: conceptualizing values and conflicts for urban green space strategies in Stockholm’, Sustainability, 7, 11306–20. Google Scholar

LOGAN, J. and MOLOTCH, H. (1987), Urban Fortunes: The Political Economy of Place, Berkeley, University of California Press. Google Scholar

LUBELL, M., FEIOCK, R. and HANDY, S. (2009), ‘City adoption of environmentally sustainable policies in California’s central valley’, Journal of the American Planning Association, 75, 293–308. Google Scholar

LUBELL, M., FEIOCK, R. and RAMIREZ, E. (2005), ‘Political institutions and conservation by local governments’, Urban Affairs Review, 40, 706–29. Google Scholar

LUNDEWALL, P. (2006), Stockholm, Den planerade staden, Stockholm, Carlsson bokförlag. Google Scholar

McCANN, E. (2011), ‘Urban policy mobilities and global circuits of knowledge: toward a research agenda’, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 101, 107–30. Google Scholar

McCANN, E. (2013), ‘Policy boosterism, policy mobilities, and the extrospective city’, Urban Geography, 34, 5–29. Google Scholar

MANCEBO, F. (2009), ‘Des développements durables: Quel référentiel pour les politiques de développement durable en Europe?’, Cybergeo: European Journal of Geography, 438, http://journals.openedition.org/cybergeo/21987, doi: 10.4000/cybergeo.21987 (accessed 8 November 2016). Google Scholar

MARIN-AGUILAR, J. T. and VILA-LÓPEZ, N. (2014), ‘How can mega events and ecological orientation improve city brand attitudes?’, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 26, 629–52. Google Scholar

MEADOWS, D., RANDERS J. and BEHRENS, W. (1972), The Limits to Growth, London, Universe Books. Google Scholar

OECD (2011), Towards Green Growth: Green Growth Strategy Synthesis Report, Paris, OECD Publishing. Google Scholar

OECD (2013a), Green Growth in Cities, Paris, OECD Publishing. Google Scholar

OECD (2013b), Green Growth in Stockholm, Sweden, Paris, OECD Publishing. Google Scholar

PRITCHARD, A. and MORGAN, N. J. (2001), ‘Culture, identity and tourism representation: marketing Cymru or Wales?’, Tourism Management, 22, 167–79. Google Scholar

RAMÍREZ DE LA CRUZ, E. E. and SMITH, H. J. (2016), ‘What encourages cities to become sustainable? Measuring the effectiveness of implementing local adaptation policies’, International Journal of Public Administration, doi: 10.1080/01900692.2015.1023445. Google Scholar

SAVITCH, H. and KANTOR, P. (2002), Cities in the International Market Place, Princeton, NJ, Princeton University Press. Google Scholar

STILGENBAUER, J. and MCBRIDE, J. (2010), ‘Reconstruction of urban forests in Hamburg and Dresden after World War II’, Landscape Journal, 29, 144–60. Google Scholar

STONE, C. (1989), ‘Paradigms, power, and urban leadership’, in B. D. Jones (ed.), Leadership and Politics, Kansas, University Press of Kansas, 135–59. Google Scholar

SWYNGEDOUW, E. and KAIKA, M. (2000), ‘The environment of the city or … the urbanisation of nature’, in G. Bridge and S. Watson (eds), A Companion to the City, Oxford, Blackwell, 567–80. Google Scholar

UNEP (UNITED NATIONS ENVIRONMENT PROGRAMME) (2008), Green Jobs: Towards Decent Work in a Sustainable, Low Carbon World, Nairobi, UNEP. Google Scholar

VORLEY, T. and NELLES, J. (2010), ‘Innovation policy as industrial policy: some lessons from Hamburg’s regional innovation system’, Local Economy, 25, 631–49. Google Scholar

WHILE, A., JONAS, A. E. G. and GIBBS, D. (2004), ‘The environment and the entrepreneurial city: searching for the urban “sustainability fix” in Manchester and Leeds’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 28, 549–69. Google Scholar

WU, F. (2012), ‘China’s eco-cities’, Geoforum, 43, 169–71. Google Scholar

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Demaziere, Christophe