- “Commodification” of Cities: Promoting Izmir (Turkey) as a World City   click here to open paper content380 kb
by    Yilmaz-Saygin, Nicel | nicelsaygin@iyte.edu.tr   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
Focusing on the urban branding of Izmir (Turkey), the paper deals with reinventing local identity, vision formation and image reconstruction to “become a world city”.
This paper explores “commodification” of cities through urban branding and place promotion strategies within the context of cities transforming from industrial cities towards cultural, creative, and knowledge-based urban environments. Cities are being reshaped under the forces of globalization and thus they are transforming their landscapes and improving their images. To address globalization and intercity competition, cities have been “commodified” as they are turned into commodities for sale being in search for investment and are open to visitors.

Focusing on the empirical case of urban branding the city of Izmir (Turkey), the third most populated city on the west coast, the paper deals with local identity formation and image reconstruction of Izmir to “become a world city” as the local actors state. To do this, local actors structured a logo “Izmir has been on the move” demonstrating progress and have been searching for visions and ways for positioning Izmir on the global economy market. Drawing from its local resources, their visions for Izmir consist of tourist city, congress city, culture city, and trade city; while it is also said that Izmir has it all. While search for the best vision still continues, several regeneration projects have been developed by the municipality to restructure its image and identity through its long-forgotten and underinvested built heritage. Izmir also looked for ways to host mega events as such activities play significant roles at international level as well as in urban and economic regeneration. Izmir hosted mega events such as Class 1 World Off-shore Championship in 2002, and Universiade in 2005 which demonstrates the efforts have started paying off. Recently Izmir has become a candidate for World EXPO 2015.
place promotion, image reconstruction, urban branding
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