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Branding the city: the democratic legitimacy of a new mode of governance

J. Eshuis and A.R. Edwards Public Administration, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Paper prepared for the 58th Political Studies Association (PSA) Annual Conference Democracy, Governance and Conflict: Dilemmas of Theory and Practice Swansea, United Kingdom, 1 - 3 April 2008

Abstract: Public branding is becoming increasingly important as a new governance form of managing perceptions in the public realm. Increasingly, branding is deployed to influence ideas around leaders, policies and places. Public organisations such as municipalities have undertaken serious efforts to influence public opinion about their city and its neighbourhoods. Branding has become an integral part of urban governance. At the same time there are doubts about the effects of branding in terms of democratic legitimacy. Critics argue that branding is a form of spinning which prevents the public to get a proper understanding of what their government is doing. It has been argued that brands of neighbourhoods were parachuted by governments and public-private partnerships without consulting parliament or citizenry. The above raises questions about the democratic legitimacy of branding as a new form of governance. This paper aims to connect literature on governance, democratic legitimacy, and branding. It explores the relation and tensions between branding and democratic governance. An empirical comparison will be made between the branding of two urban neighbourhoods in the Netherlands. The paper explores how the branding of these neighbourhoods relates to input legitimacy, throughput legitimacy, output legitimacy and feedback legitimacy in governance processes.

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1. Introduction Branding is becoming increasingly important in the public domain. Politicians and political parties have applied branding to create new images of themselves and attract voters. Cities use branding to establish a unique identity that attracts visitors and investors. Policies have been branded, for example Tony Blairs Third Way or the Rotterdam approach that has been developed by the council of Rotterdam. In short, branding has been applied in the public sector to influence perceptions around places, persons, processes, organisations and goods (Eshuis et al., in preparation). The upsurge of brands in the public domain can be understood against the background of the visual culture (see e.g. Rose, 2001; Sturken and Cartwright, 2001) and information overload (Wurman, 1989) in contemporary Western societies. Public managers and politicians depend on powerful images that attract public attention and are easy to process. Public opinion seems not to be formed so much by policy documents, but rather through heuristics and images that find their way to the public via diverse media. The solid rational argumentation of policy documents and discursive eloquence of public speeches seem to be pushed aside by symbols and image events (Delicath and Deluca, 2003). As we will explain further on, brands can form those symbols and images in peoples minds. They can function as heuristic tools through which citizens process complex public policies and interventions. Brands are forms of information that thrive in the current public realm. However, doubts can be raised about the effects of branding in terms of democratic legitimacy. Branding is a method that has been developed in the private sector to increase sales of products. Questions around democratic legitimacy are less important in the private sector; therefore democratic legitimacy may not be built in branding as a method. There are risks of brands being parachuted by governments and public-private partnerships without consulting parliament or citizenry. Critics argue that branding in the public sector is a form of spinning which prevents the public to get a proper understanding of what their government is doing. The above raises questions about the democratic legitimacy of branding as a new form of governance. This paper aims to connect literature on governance, democracy and legitimacy, and branding. It explores the relation and tensions between branding and democratic governance. The paper is structured as follows. First the concept of branding will be described in order to clarify what branding entails and what its relevance and function is in urban governance. Next we deal with different dimensions of democratic legitimacy: input legitimacy, throughput legitimacy, output legitimacy and feedback legitimacy. We then indicate the most important tensions between branding and democratic legitimacy. We present two cases of branding of Dutch urban neighbourhoods where branding clearly played a role in urban regeneration policies. Finally, we draw conclusions on the basis of the theoretical exploration and our empirical examples.

2. Branding in the private sector What is a brand? A brand is a symbolic construct meant to add value to a product. It is not the product itself but what gives meaning and value to the product, and defines its identity (Kapferer, 1992). 2

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Danesi (2006) explains that a brand is a sign with a denotative function that identifies a product and its producer. A brand also has a connotative function by evoking associations which imbue the product with cultural meaning. For example, the BMW brand evokes associations such as safety, success and high achievers. Through these associations the car becomes valuable to the consumer in a psychological sense (it offers safety) and in a social sense (it offers social status). In other words, brands add symbolic and non-functional benefits to a product, thus making the product valuable in the psychological and social life of people. Also, a brand helps to differentiate the product from competitors products by coupling specific symbolic or experiential features to a product. BMW is not just a car, it is a car for successful people. This gives the possibility to charge a premium price (De Chernatony and DallOlmo Riley, 1998). Functions of brands in the private sector In the private sector brands fulfil several functions: denoting ownership, communicating meaning, facilitating relationships, identity formation and adding value (Eshuis et al., in preparation). (1) Brands denote ownership. As marks they have an identification and recognition function. A brand stands for a name, logo, trademark or tune that signifies ownership (see Balmer, 2006). It has an important function in the legal sphere. (2) Brands communicate meaning. As signs brands communicate the essence and meaning of a product (cf. Kapferer, 1992). Brands thus help people to determine the identity of a product. The brand works as a heuristic tool; it is a shorthand that helps people to understand the many tangible and intangible characteristics of a product (cf. De Chernatony and DallOlmo Riley, 1998). Brands can communicate many things. They can carry the meaning of pleasurable experiences, as for example in the case of McDonalds. Through commercials and personal experiences many people have come to associate McDonalds with the experience of family bonding (cf. Balmer, 2006). Brands can also communicate key values. Brands can work as value systems referring to ethics and social responsibility (Kapferer, 1992). This function is about the values that consumers find in a brand. Brands may reflect what individual consumers stand for. On a corporate level the communicative function of brands does not only work external to the corporation (evoking a certain identity of the corporation among the public) but also internal to the corporation. Within the corporation a clear brand identity may help to direct behaviour and facilitate decision making. As Ind and Watt (2006: 333) put it: The brand definition frames the context, provides boundaries, sets benchmarks, creates clarity and focuses energy. (3) Brands facilitate relationships between brands and consumers (Hankinson, 2004; Fournier, 1998). In this function of brands the focus shifts from the product to the relationship with the consumer. In this relationship the growing recognition of, and respect for each others personality would lead to a strong bonding and attitude reinforcement, along with repeat-usage (De Chernatony and DallOlmo Riley, 1998: 423). Brands function as relationships for example when products are branded as exclusive products. Exclusive products offer their high status and authority to the product owners, as in a relationship. People build relationships with brands next to relationships with friends and colleagues, whereby brands fulfil similar purposes (Fournier, 1998).

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The idea of brands as relationships implies that not only does the brand do something consumers, but vice-versa product owners also influence brands. For example, when consumers with a specific identity use a certain brand, this changes the image of the brand. Consumers become co-producers of the brand (Hankinson, 2004). (4) Brands facilitate identity formation. Another function of brands is that they can be means by which consumers construct their identity. Compared to the functions mentioned above, here the attention moves further away from the product to the consumer. Brands are appropriated by consumers as a means of defining who they are, wish to be and/or wish to be seen as (Balmer, 2006: 36). Brands are sources upon which individuals draw for the construction of their identity (Elliott and Davies, 2006). For example people may use their Apple computer to establish a liberal or artistic identity. Marketing scholars have argued that brands influence the formation of identity through brand communities, and underpinned this through empirical research in for example Saab and Jeep communities (McAlexander et al., 2002; Muniz and OGuinn, 2001). These are communities with members having a shared consciousness, rituals and traditions, and a sense of moral responsibility (Muniz and OGuinn, 2001: 412). Members of a brand community define their own identity partly in terms of the brand community to which they belong. (5) Brands add monetary value. The monetary value of a brand is largely built on the symbolic and non-functional benefits that a brand adds to a product or a company. By imbuing a product with symbolic or experiential features a brand helps to differentiate a product from competitors products. This gives the opportunity to charge a premium price (De Chernatony and DallOlmo Riley, 1998). The value of companies lies not only in their asset value, but also in the value ascribed to their brand. For example Nestle bought Rowntree for six times its reported asset value (Kotler et al., 1999: 572). Thus Nestle bought itself a place in the consumers mind (Kapferer, 1992). The five functions of brands in the private sector that we described above, are summarized in table 1.
Table 1. Five functions of branding in the private sector Denote ownership Legal Instrument designating legal ownership Communicate meaning Cognitive, symbolic Image, experience, carrier of information Facilitate relationships Social, psychological Personality, relationship Identity formation Social, psychological Social resource, personality, relationship Add commercial value Economical Added value

Dimension Brand conceptualised as

Emergent branding and strategic branding The process of branding is about giving meaning to products and brands. Corporate managers deliberately try to imbue their brands with certain meaning, but they are not the only ones who give meaning to brands. Consumers, employees and shareholders of the company also give meaning to brands. This is a form of branding that emerges in interaction between management, consumers, employees, shareholders or other actors. Following the

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conceptual distinction made by Mintzberg and Waters (1985) between deliberate and emergent strategies, we distinguish emergent branding and strategic branding.

3. Branding in urban governance Branding differs from other forms of managing perceptions Branding is a governance form of managing perceptions. What is special about branding when compared to other forms of managing perceptions? Firstly, branding aims at the emotional and the psychological. It is not so much aimed at the rational. Gucci shoes for example, are not so much branded by explaining the superior quality of the shoes in terms of durability or fit. Nor are they branded by providing fact-sheets in which Gucci-shoes are compared with other shoes. Rather, they are branded by evoking an image of elegance, artistry, exclusiveness and specialness. Secondly, branding works partly through the unconscious. We are largely unaware of the associations triggered by brands, and we do not commonly deliberate about them. For example the swoosh Nike logo suggests speed at several levels. At the iconic level it suggests fast running with Nike shoes, at a mythical level it draws on ideas of speed as a symbol of empowerment and victory. This association is even more likely to be triggered in combination with the word Nike which refers to the Greek goddess of victory (cf. Danesi, 2006). By aiming at the emotional and unconscious branding differs from other approaches to governance. It differs from classic, rational approaches that mean to develop, implement, explain and defend policies on basis of rational information (see e.g. Braybrooke and Lindblom, 1963). It also differs from deliberative approaches which are centred on arguments, discourse and conscious deliberation (see e.g. Fischer, 2003, Hajer and Wagenaar, 2003). Branding instead is about triggering unconscious associations through signs and images. Objects of branding in the public sector Products are the objects of branding in the private sector, whereby a product is understood as anything that can be offered to a market (Kotler et al., 1999). Branded products in the private sector are mostly tangible goods, services, or companies (corporate branding). In the public sector, the following objects of branding can be found: (1) Branding of tangible products. In the public sector this is mostly about buildings or infrastructural works (roads, railroads, bridges or tunnels); (2) Branding of processes may refer to branding services or governance processes. There is a wide range of public services which can be branded, such as educational services or public safety. In case of branding governance processes, both the policy content and the policy style can be branded. Branding governance processes does not only refer to particular policies (e.g. the Third Way), it can also refer to the branding of large projects, for example large infrastructural projects; (3) Branding of organizations refers to branding whereby an organization as a whole is an important platform for identity formation and differentiation, next to the products or services it creates (see e.g. Balmer, 2006; Schultz et al. 2000). In the public sector organizational branding refers to the branding of, for example, ministries, municipal organisations, agencies or political parties. (4) Branding of persons generally refers to branding leaders or stars, but it is increasingly used by a wider range of professionals to market themselves (see e.g. Lair et al., 2005). Within the public sector branding persons is mostly about political leaders, for 5

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example Tony Blair, George W. Bush or Silvio Berlusconi (see e.g. Needham, 2005). It may also concern public figures such as princess Diana or leaders of social movements such as the French farmer Jos Bov. (5) Branding of places is about geographical places varying from nations to cities, regions and neighbourhoods. It is sometimes referred to as place-branding (e.g. Kavaratzis and Ashworth, 2005; Gould and Skinner, 2007) or location branding (e.g. Hankinson, 2001). Functions of branding in governance In this section we link the functions that brands fulfil in the private sector with different components of governance, in order define theoretically what functions brands can fulfil in governance. We distinguish four components of policy cycles: agenda setting, policy formulation, policy implementation and evaluation. Agenda setting is about which issues, problems and solutions get attention of policy makers and the public. Brands, being meaning-giving symbols, can play a role in the social construction of problems. Brands can suggest ways in which particular problems or solutions can be experienced. They create bias, and contribute to a specific framing of policy problems or solutions. For example the Third Way as a brand played a role in keeping the issue of flexibilization of labour on the political agenda. Further, brands have a function in the mobilization of bias; they may generate support for certain policy solutions by giving people a good feeling about these solutions. Brands may facilitate policy formulation by providing boundaries, giving focus and directing behaviour. A certain brand identity may create congruence among actors, and provide them with a guideline. For example if actors agree that the core of a neighbourhoods identity is arts, this provides them with a guideline that new investments in the neighbourhood should fit the arts-identity. The establishment of museums and galleries will be stimulated while for example new offices or a new highway will be blocked. With regard to implementation, brands can play a role in getting policies accepted among citizens by linking positive associations and feelings to policies. This facilitates implementation. Brands may also facilitate implementation by helping to create commitment or enthusiasm among those involved in execution of a certain policy, for example civil servants or private parties. It must be noted that if a policy gets branded in a negative way this is likely to make implementation more difficult.

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With regard to policy evaluation, brands may function in several ways. The evaluative function of brands is related to the promises that brands communicate. For example the brand of a politician may communicate strong leadership. A city-brand that centres on the knowledge economy and innovativeness, communicates a certain promise about facilitating the development of knowledge-based organisations within the city. Citizens will assess whether politicians or city councils deliver what they promise. In urban governance, brands do not communicate promises in the form of measurable goals, but in the form of broad images and holistic impressions of outcomes. At the same time, brands may also obscure what policy results were actually achieved, thus making evaluation more difficult. Only through empirical research in concrete cases the question whether brands obscure evaluation or facilitate evaluation can be answered.

4. Democratic legitimacy Politics and public policy are about political communities trying to achieve collective goals. Questions of how a community allocates scarce resources for these goals are always controversial. This leads us to ask why the members of a democratic association accept the decisions made and the outcomes produced. The legitimacy concept provides one line of reasoning for answering this question. Legitimacy refers to the validity of the authority of a political system to make collective decisions. It denotes an institutional characteristic of a political system, its governors and decision-making processes. It does not refer to the acceptance of a specific decision or policy, although the support for specific decisions could be taken as indications of the legitimacy of the political system and the processes in which these decisions were taken. If we link the concept of legitimacy with branding, we focus on the question how the branding of specific products, such as policies, organizations and neighborhoods, influences the legitimacy of the governance processes branding is part of. We explore the concept of democratic legitimacy further (Bekkers and Edwards, 2007) and connect it to the concept of branding in the context of urban governance. Legitimacy is related to authority. A legitimate authority is one that is recognized as valid or justified by those to whom it applies. If this is the case, the decisions will be perceived as binding or authoritative (Easton, 1965). This means that legitimacy has to be conferred by others. It is the expression of recognition of rightness by a community. Kim adds to this that this referral is based on ones own free will (Kim, 1966). The concept of legitimacy excludes a fabricated recognition of the rightness of decision-making. The next step is then to look at the process of legitimating. Friedrich (1963) holds that legitimacy involves the capacity of a political system and its rulers to convince the members that its decisions are justified. What are the sources on which this capacity to convince can be based? In his famous account of ideal types of authority structures, Weber (1922) distinguished between legitimacy based on charisma, tradition and rational-legality. Charismatic legitimacy is based on the belief in the personal qualities of the rulers. Legitimacy is based on tradition if the conferred authority to rule is linked to the fact that the governing power is handed down from one generation to another. Rational-legality is based on the notion of the constitutional state, i.e. the belief that the exercise of authority should be based on general rules that offer security, predictability and fairness. It also involves a belief in rationality, in terms of knowledge-based relations between means and ends. In a similar vein, Easton (1965) distinguished personal, structural and ideological legitimacy. Personal legitimacy coincides with Webers notion of charisma. Structural legitimacy refers to the institutional embeddedness of authority. This can be based on the institutions of the constitutional state in general, but also on specific governing

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traditions in a country, such as the Dutch poldermodel (Hendriks and Toonen, 2000). Ideological legitimacy involves shared moral convictions, values and norms. Here, democratic values and models of democracy (Held, 2006) come into play. The idea that legitimacy is based on shared normative beliefs, emphasized also by Morris (1998) and Beetham (1991), is important when linking legitimacy with branding. The concept of branding in the context of democratic legitimacy can be linked to what has been coined as the style revolution in democratic politics (Corner and Pels, 2003). This style revolution expresses a more general social process of de-institutionalization, individualization and personalization of social life as well as a growing importance of expressive symbolism and lifestyles. Accounts of democratic legitimacy in late modern societies could benefit from concepts as branding that take on board the idea of managing perceptions through the emotional and the subjective, imagination and aesthetics. In terms of Webers ideal types, for instance, we witness an increasing role for charisma and political styles performed by politicians in the audiovisual culture of media democracy. An example is the short political life of the populist politician Pim Fortuyn in The Netherlands. His appearance was a blend of form elements and substantive political messages gelled into a recognizable political brand (Pels, 2003: 43). Up until now, we have discussed legitimacy as a general notion that tells us something about how authority is recognized as valid or justified. The next step is to decompose the concept by distinguishing input-, throughput, output and feedback oriented legitimacy as relevant dimensions, in line with political systems theory (Easton, 1965). Input-oriented democratic thought emphasizes government by the people (Scharpf, 1998). This democratic idea refers to a number of norms that can be related to the values of political equality, active citizenship and popular sovereignty. Relevant norms include (1) opportunities for citizen participation, (2) openness of the agenda setting process and (3) the quality of the representation by, for instance, interest groups and elected politicians. A process of branding an urban neighborhood can make a claim on legitimacy if it draws on elements that have been the outcome of a process that was open to the participation and inputs of present and future residents, entrepreneurs and other users of the neighborhood. If citizen involvement is indirect, one should assess if their representatives actually stand for the interests of their constituency. We define throughput-legitimacy in terms of certain qualities of the processes, rules and procedures through which binding decisions are made. Relevant norms can be related to the values of majority rule, checks and balances and free deliberation. Firstly, (1) a political system should provide a combination of mechanisms for the aggregation as well as the integration of preferences. This norm is fulfilled by a branding strategy that combines aggregative devices, such as surveys and voting, and the integrating devices of dialogue and debate. Other norms include (2) quality of participation, (3) transparency of the decision making process and (4) checks and balances. According to the more participative models of democracy, legitimacy depends on identity and interest-based citizen participation. Incorporating the diversity within a community and the variety of perspectives can help a collective learning process and the forming of a shared sense of identity and feelings of attachment. Moreover, it is important to pay attention to the interests of minority groups or weakly organized interests. The quality of the checks and balancing that are embedded in the decision making process should prevent that they are pushed aside by majorities or by powerful public and private stakeholders. The output oriented perspective on democratic legitimacy focuses on the notion of government for the people (Scharpf, 1998). This dimension of legitimacy concerns the

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capacity of a political system to produce certain outputs or outcomes that actually contribute toward remedying collective problems. Relevant norms include (1) the effectiveness and efficiency as well as (2) the responsiveness of these decisions to the expressed wishes of the people. The branding process should reflect a common belief in the capacity of the political system to remedy collective problems. Finally, we distinguish feedback legitimacy. This dimension includes how accountability and learning processes are organized. Branding communicates certain promises and images about the future. It is therefore important to assess how accountability is organized about the actors performance in the implementation of agreed policies.

5. Tensions between branding and democratic legitimacy The idea that branding can fulfil useful governance functions in societies marked by a strongly visual culture (Rose, 2001), information overload (Wurman, 1989) and the importance of style (Corner and Pels, 2003) pushes us further to addressing the doubts and criticisms about its democratic legitimacy. Above, we set out that legitimacy has to be conferred by the members of a political community on the basis of ones own free will, thereby excluding a fabricated recognition of the rightness of decision making. This implies that tensions may occur when branding functions as a tactical instrument in the hands of urban governors in the intra-urban competition for the most attractive places of business and residence. Such a context introduces a strategic logic in urban branding practices that tends to conflict with the communicative logic of democratic legitimacy (Habermas, 1981; 1992). Such a (potential) conflict has to be settled in the concrete practices of branding at the neighbourhood level. On the input side, a tension can occur between a top-down, experts-led approach of branding and a bottom-up approach, through which symbols and images are created in open communication with and among the affected citizens. In addition, weaknesses in the (input-) legitimacy of the governance process and product, for example a restructuring process in a neighbourhood, create tensions with regard to the legitimacy of the brand. If branding is treated as just an attractive label to neighbourhood designs created in closed and top-down policy processes, a tension occurs between democratic legitimacy and branding. This has not to do with the branding process per se, but with the (illegitimate) identity of the product which is being branded. On the throughput side, a tension can occur between a narrow marketing approach of branding and the norm of quality of participation. A richer approach that combines integrative and aggregative devices should facilitate a process through which citizens can express their sense of identity, feelings of attachments, aspirations and neighbourhood typifications. A further tension exists if branding appeals to and draws upon the participation of the more resource-rich social groups and stakeholders, thereby pushing minority groups or weakly organized interests aside. A tension between branding and output-legitimacy occurs if branding functions merely as a rhetorical device that obscures an actual neglect of collective problems as they are felt among the residents and other users of the neighbourhood. In that case, branding only suggests a remedy by providing symbols, instead of providing symbols that refer to actual collective deeds. Finally, branding conflicts with feedback legitimacy if the governance practices in which it functions, do not provide for a mechanism by which the realization of the promises a brand communicates cannot be monitored and the responsible actors cannot be held accountable.

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6. Empirical findings Case I. Branding the neighbourhood of Katendrecht Katendrecht is a neighbourhood in the Southern part of Rotterdam, the Netherlands. As a peninsula, Katendrecht is largely surrounded by water. At the end of the 19th century Katendrecht was an important harbour-zone, with many dockers living in the neighbourhood. For a long time, Katendrecht was the red-light district of Rotterdam as well. In the 1960s the harbour moved westwards and many companies left Katendrecht. The neighbourhood came in decline. The level of facilities went down, houses and other buildings deteriorated, and criminality became clearly visible. The neighbourhood developed a bad image. Currently the neighbourhood is in a process of revitalization. Important physical restructuring takes place with about 1600 new houses being built along the waterfront, and the old centre being renovated. Efforts have been made to conserve the existing identity of the old centre. One of the goals of the revitalization is to create housing for the middle- and upper-class, in order to give the local economy a boost, and lower the concentration of problems related to socio-economic backwardness. As compared to several other neighbourhoods in Rotterdam, there is a relatively well organised and influential citizen organization in Katendrecht. Civil servants sometimes refer to the chair of the citizen organization as the major of Katendrecht. Formally, the citizen organization has an advisory function in the restructuring. In practice it is difficult for the municipality to implement plans if the citizen organization strongly opposes them. In order to attract new residents and entrepreneurs several parties try to create a new brand for the neighbourhood. Among these parties are the city council, district council, developers, housing corporations and the citizen organization. From the outset, we wish to make clear that the branding of Katendrecht is partly an emergent branding process, and partly a deliberately organised process. This is important because the deliberate branding process has been adjusted to the emergent buzz, thus trying to take into account existing opinions and stories about the neighbourhood. The ideas for a formal branding campaign started to crystallize in 2004 when the revitalization process in Katendrecht was in a crisis. One of the developers had just withdrawn his plans for building in Katendrecht. Several plans for new developments that had been developed since the 1990 had not been implemented, and the withdrawing developer did not trust that he would be able to make a profit in such an environment. The residents of Katendrecht had become tired of promises and beautiful plans that were not being implemented. In 2004 a new start was made in the restructuring of Katendrecht, and apart from giving a new impulse to the development plans all parties agreed that a clear positioning of Katendrecht was essential for the new developments, especially for success in selling the appartments and houses that were to be built. Until that time, positioning of Katendrecht had been undertaken in a rather uncoordinated way by the individual developers who had built a few apartments in Katendrecht and tried to sell those. They positioned Katendrecht as a fine location along the waterside, at close distance of the city centre. This was a top-down process and one-way communication with the developers as senders and potential buyers as receivers. After the restructuring process took on again other parties involved in the revitalization process started to communicate positive developments and strong points of the neighbourhood, although there was no formal branding campaign. The district council and the citizens organization initially mainly communicated the great potential of Katendrecht. 10

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Over time the district council and the citizens group used the successful sales of the planned houses and apartments, and a positive outcome of a survey on perceived safety to communicate that things were changing to the positive in Katendrecht. A modest buzz developed, mainly among professionals and managers who were involved in one or another aspect of town planning, but also among citizens of Rotterdam. Slowly stories about potential changed into stories about increasing trust and then into stories about Katendrecht is hot. The meaning of the Katendrecht brand co-evoluted with the policy plans and, more importantly, the changes in reality. At the same time, a formal branding campaign had been prepared as well. The branding campaign was part of an overall communication strategy which was jointly developed by the parties involved in the restructuring process (the city-council, district council, one housing corporation, the developers involved and the citizen organization). Essential in that communication plan was not to promise residents things anymore which would not be made true. This idea was incorporated in the branding campaign. Crucially, the citizen group has had a say in the development of the campaign. It was them who made clear that they did not want a campaign that would sketch only rosy pictures with over-the-top marketing jargon. As a civil servant said the residents were tired of beautiful plans that promised the world. The residents told the professionals who were setting up the branding-campaign that they were just normal people from the island, so they wanted a just normal campaign. Consequently, a campaign was developed with which the residents could identify. This choice was not only made so that the residents could identify, but also it was felt that if the campaign would sketch pictures that differed too widely from reality this would do more harm than good. In order to decide what would be the brand-values underlying the campaign, an interactive session was organised. About 20 people were in the session, amongst whom were citizens and professionals. During the session consensus was easily reached about two main brand values for Katendrecht, namely island & distinctness and contrasts. These brand-values were translated into a concrete campaign by a marketing bureau. Under the motto Can you handle the Cape (Kun jij de Kaap aan in Dutch) (see www.kunjijdekaapaan.nl) a campaign was developed that does not ignore the character of Katendrecht, and touches upon the perceived dangerous character of Katendrecht but adds to it the twist of adventure. The campaign is full of symbolism referring to seafaring, water, and adventure. The campaign presents Katendrecht as a unique place with special, slightly eccentric and wayward residents (see figure 1). Shortly after the branding-campaign was launched the Katendrecht brand suffered damage when within a short period of time there was a murder and an armed-robbery on the peninsula. These events were in the national newspapers and were not missed by the people in Rotterdam. Katendrecht came to be perceived as a Janus-faced neighbourhood: a nice place with potential and waterfronts, but also a problem-area with criminality.

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Figure 1. Images used in branding campaign for Katendrecht. The text in the first image says cosy chatting with the neighbour, the second one says getting birth-registry.

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Case II. Branding the neighbourhood of New-Crooswijk New-Crooswijk is a neighbourhood close to the centre of Rotterdam. The neighbourhood has about 4500 inhabitants. The average level of education is low when compared to the Netherlands as a whole, and there is a relatively large percentage of residents living on minimum wages. About 60% of the inhabitants are from diverse ethnic minorities. Since 1997 plans have been developed to restructure the neighbourhood. In that year the housing corporation (which owned about 90% of the houses in the neighbourhood) developed a plan for a drastic restructuring (Edwards and Schaap, 2006). Residents of Nieuw-Crooswijk got the chance to develop a reaction and in 1999 they came with their own plan for (re)developing the neighbourhood. Until 2002 several broad plans were developed in consultation with citizens. In 2002 a public-private Partnership called OCNC (OntwikkelingsCombinatie Nieuw Crooswijk)1 was created to plan and implement the restructuring. When it came to the most important aspects of their plans, the OCNC stayed within the limits set in the earlier formulated broad plans, but went their own way in the final and most decisive stage of the planning process. The OCNC developed a final masterplan which included the demolishment of about 1800 out of 2100 houses in the neighbourhood. The OCNC mainly informed citizens about this final plan rather than consulting them or engaging in coproduction (Edwards and Schaap, 2006). At the same time, citizens were involved in working out the details of the plans. The implementation of these plans has started in 2006. The new houses that will be built are mostly for private ownership in the (upper)middle-class. The percentage of social housing will decrease. Apart from the goal to solve physical problems in the current housing stock, another goal is to tackle existing problems in the neighbourhood through a mixed-housing policy. This includes an effort to change the population of the neighbourhood by bringing in more middle-class people. This fits in the overall Rotterdam policy to improve the citys capacity to retain its middle- and upper-class. The restructuring of the neighbourhoods has been severely contested. Especially the demolishing of 1800 houses met protest. Notwithstanding the protest, the city council has accepted the plans including the demolishment. At this point, influence of citizens has been limited. For a long time there was no formal branding-campaign to position the neighbourhood. This because the restructuring process had become highly politicized. Everything around the development of the neighbourhood had become very sensitive. Managers within the OCNC felt that a branding campaign could heighten the protest, increase resistance. However, emergent branding was going on. The highest ranks within the organisations involved in the OCNC were very active in communicating the plans. The directors were heavily involved in positioning the plans. This because the project was a very large project and important for their organisations, but also because they were of the opinion that this was an innovative project (with an innovative public-private partnership) that was going to make a positive contribution to solving social problems and housing problems in Rotterdam. The managers of the OCNC branded the existing neighbourhoods as a neighbourhood with social problems, a poor housing stock (with physical problems and no choice due to a very small range of different houses), and a poor neighbourhood plan (with narrow streets).
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The OCNC is a partnership involving a large builder (ERA bouw), a developer (Proper Stok) and a housing corporation (WoningBedrijf Rotterdam)

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They also stressed that New Crooswijk was close to the city centre and a pleasant wooded park on the border of Rotterdam. They argued that their plans for the neighbourhood would lead to a beautiful and attractive neighbourhood. They positioned the process itself as innovative and interactive, and positioned the protest as a protest by a small group. A group of citizens protesting against the plans tried to brand the future neighbourhood as a capitalist project at the expense of many of the residents of the neighbourhood who would not be able to afford the new houses. The protest group then used the means of protest available in Dutch democracy, and tried to influence civil servants and politicians to change or block the plans developed by the OCNC. After the important decision was taken by the city council to accept the plans and go on with the project , a communication plan was developed by the OCNC. Deliberate branding took on, including a logo and a slogan (see figure 2). The slogan refers to the good things from the past, having a bit of nostalgia in it. The slogan says A bit from the old days in the present (een beetje vroeger maar dan nu in Dutch). The logo shows a green tree, constructing the future neighbourhood as a pleasant, lush and green one (see figure 2).

Figure 2. The logo of New Crooswijk

<<<CASE DESCRIPTION YET TO BE FINISHED>>

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Box 1. Text and picture on the website of the public-private partnership that developed and implements the restructuring process in the neighbourhood << yet to be translated>> ROTTERDAM - Over ruim tien jaar heeft Nieuw Crooswijk een volledige metamorfose ondergaan. Het is dan een levendige, groene en veilige wijk. Een geliefde stadswijk waar gezinnen, eenpersoonshuishoudens, ouderen en jongeren met uiteenlopende inkomens en levensstijlen naast elkaar wonen. Deze aantrekkelijke mengeling van mensen en woonvormen weerspiegelt zich in de woningen, de gebouwen en de inrichting van de straten en pleinen. Nieuw Crooswijk is een wijk met nieuw elan, waarin historische waarden en gevoelens wl behouden zijn gebleven. Dat zie je bijvoorbeeld terug in de architectuurdetails en de klassieke lanenstructuur. Beter gezegd: Nieuw Crooswijk is een beetje vroeger, maar dan nu!

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7. Discussion and conclusion There are multiple approaches to branding with differing effects on democratic legitimacy. Our case studies show that branding can be a participatory process in which feelings and emotions of citizens get a place. Branding can also be organised in ways which largely exclude direct or indirect participation of citizens. Critics of branding who do not differentiate between different approaches may oversee forms of branding which can actually be instrumental in improving democratic legitimacy of urban governance. Potentially branding can be a process in which citizens and other stakeholders obtain a say about the identity of their neighbourhood. Branding in Katendrecht shows how citizens were involved through a citizens group in defining the identity of their neighbourhood, and the development of the formal brand. In terms of input legitimacy it can be concluded that there were opportunities for citizen participation, and the content of the branding-campaign was not predefined but open to discussion. The brand values underlying the campaign were defined in co-production between professionals and residents (including the chairman of a citizens-organization). Although further research is needed to establish in how far the residents involved represented the entire population of the neighbourhood, it can be concluded that there was clear citizen involvement. In terms of throughput legitimacy a preliminary conclusion is that the process of developing the branding campaign was rather transparent to the citizensorganisation, but it is doubtful whether other citizens knew what was going on. The citizensorganisation has only little formal power, but informally it is rather influential. Checks and balances in the process of decision making are informal. Output legitimacy is difficult to determine, because the effect of the branding campaign is difficult to establish. It is not sure what is the contribution of the branding campaign to the successes in the revitalization of Katendrecht. It can be concluded though, that the branding campaign is responsive to the wishes of the people not to promise the world and present a picture of Katendrecht that is realistic. Branding in New Crooswijk was about marketing a new neighbourhood for a new mix of residents. The influence that residents had on the core of the planned identity of the neighbourhood has been limited. In that sense, the openness of the agenda setting process and the possibilities for effective participation (in the later stages of the planning process) were limited. However, it is unsure whether the groups of citizens that did participate in the protests against the plan were representative for the residents in the neighbourhood (quality of representation). Finally, these considerations have to be weighed against the fact that the final plan was approved by a substantial majority in the city council. We see here certain tensions between participatory and representative democracy. Throughput legitimacy was limited because the planners went their own way in the later, most decisive stages of the planning process. The final urban development plan (Masterplan)was designed in a closed process without moments of communication or feedback about important aspects with residents. The result was that the residents who had been active in the earlier stages of the process did not anticipate the final plan when it was made public. The output legitimacy can be assessed positively in terms of the policy goals of the city of Rotterdam. The plan is clearly designed to attract middle class people in the city. It has to be emphasized that this policy was endorsed to a certain extent by the residents, in that they agreed that a new New Crooswijk should offer young residents the possibility of a

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residential career in their own neighbourhood. Nevertheless, the protesting residents argued that the final plans destroyed the original identity of New Crooswijk. The feedback legitimacy of the process is difficult to assess as yet. As indicated above, there were no moments of feedback in the final stage of drafting the Master Plan plan. However, in its final decision making the city council had agreed on a proposal to have a feedback moment after each stage of implementation, with the ultimate possibility to stop the process. Until now, the council did not use that possibility. The identity of the future neighbourhood and the emergent brand of the future neighbourhood were severely contested by a citizens group in the neighbourhood. This can be perceived as a sign of democracy at work. On the other hand, the agenda for the development of the neighbourhood was rather closed. The rules and procedures that the OCNC applied for participation limited participation to working out details within the confinements of the main lines of the plan. The protesting group of citizens then used the means of protest available in Dutch democracy to influence civil servants, politicians and the administrative court. Branding can add to the functioning of urban democracy where it facilitates the inclusion of citizens emotions and feelings, as well as their preferences about style, into urban governance. This can be seen in the case of Katendrecht where the feeling of living in a unique area with slightly eccentric inhabitants got a place within the branding campaign. Branding can facilitate the expression of emotions and style, and the inclusion of those in urban governance. Traditional governance processes often seem to be very closed with respect to emotions. Policy plans often reflect only rational aspects of decision making. Rules and procedures for participatory governance processes tend to prescribe behaviour of participants in very rational terms. Articulating emotions often weakens the position of participants. Having concluded that branding can be organised in ways that contribute to democratic legitimacy, we wish to point at tensions between branding and democratic legitimacy as well. In our cases we have observed two main tensions. The first tension may occur in cases where private parties develop place-brands and implement branding processes. In such cases citizens may have less possibilities to influence the branding process directly (through direct participation) or indirectly (through elected politicians). The second tension has to do with branding sometimes being a top-down process. Here it is the hierarchical organisation of the process which limits democratic legitimacy, especially if the hierarchical leaders are not elected in democratic processes.

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