Staging the New Berlin
Place Marketing and the Politics of Urban Reinvention Post-1989
Routledge – 2012 – 368 pages
This book explores the politics of place marketing and the process of ‘urban reinvention’ in Berlin between 1989 and 2011. In the context of the dramatic socio-economic restructuring processes, changes in urban governance and physical transformation of the city following the Fall of the Wall, the ‘new’ Berlin was not only being built physically, but staged for visitors and Berliners and marketed to the world through events and image campaigns which featured the iconic architecture of large-scale urban redevelopment sites. Public-private partnerships were set up specifically to market the ‘new Berlin’ to potential investors, tourists, Germans and the Berliners themselves. The book analyzes the images of the city and the narrative of urban change, which were produced over two decades. In the 1990s three key sites were turned into icons of the ‘new Berlin’: the new Postdamer Platz, the new government quarter, and the redeveloped historical core of the Friedrichstadt. Eventually, the entire inner city was ‘staged’ through a series of events which turned construction sites into tourist attractions. New sites and spaces gradually became part of the 2000s place marketing imagery and narrative, as urban leaders sought to promote the ‘creative city’. By combining urban political economy and cultural approaches from the disciplines of urban politics, geography, sociology and planning, the book contributes to a better understanding of the interplay between the symbolic ‘politics of representation’ through place marketing and the politics of urban development and place making in contemporary urban governance.
"Combining the sociology of marketing with recent history, this book will appeal to practitioners of urban marketing as well as to historians of Germany, and to anyone interested in Berlin's recent history… Recommended" - CHOICE
"Colomb’s critical history of Berlin’s urban marketing strategies offers an important contribution to urban planning, political economy and particularly the design disciplines." - Built Environment
1. Introduction: the Reinvention of the ‘New’ Berlin Post-1989 2. Understanding the Politics of Place Marketing and Urban Imaging 3. Selling Berlin in the Twentieth Century: Historical Perspectives 4. On the Way to Weltstadt? Unification and Metropolitan Ambitions, 1989–1993 5. The Actors of Place Marketing in the ‘New Berlin’ 6. Marketing the Global Service Metropolis and the National Capital 7. Staging Urbanism: Construction Site Tourism and the City as Exhibition 8. ‘Poor, But Sexy’: Marketing the Creative City, 2001–2011 9. Contested Place Marketing, Contested Urban Images, 1994–2011 10. Contemporary Urbanism and the Politics of Reimaging
Claire Colomb is Senior Lecturer in Urban Sociology and European Spatial Planning at the Bartlett School of Planning, University College London (UCL). She holds a first degree in Politics and Sociology from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences-Po) and a PhD in Town Planning from UCL. Her research interests include urban governance, planning and urban policies in European cities (the UK, France, Germany and Spain); culture and urban regeneration; European spatial planning and trans-boundary cooperation between cities and regions in Europe and the Mediterranean. She is joint author of European Spatial Planning and Territorial Cooperation (Routledge, 2010).