City branding / image building as a new paradigm: the case of Eskişehir

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2018
Koç, Evrim
In the last three decades cities have become the nodes of the global economy by enhancing their own competitive capacities; through improving their capabilities with respect to human capital, innovation, and creativity. They have struggled to become successful in competitive conditions as they have been following several strategies including urban branding, brand management and creating a new image. In Turkey, 2023 Tourism Vision identified 19 cities as candidates of cities with brands; therefore it introduced plans, projects and strategies related to these cities. City branding has become a popular discourse in Turkey, from very small sized towns to metropolitan cities, and almost every mayor has made a “brand city” declaration as they have used it as a propaganda item. This thesis attempts to investigate the process of the city branding efforts and its outcomes through a case study research on Eskişehir. Eskişehir is chosen as the case study area since it is a successful example of creating city brand/image in Turkey. The study introduced in this thesis concentrates on the question “How was Eskişehir able to create a new city image/brand?” which aims to contribute to the existing literature and the policies and practice of the cities striving for city branding. The findings of the thesis emphasize four issues: First, Eskişehir has built its city branding strategy upon “livable city” through emphasizing “life-city-living” themes and projects, which is more truthful and genuine than the discourses on “being a global city”. Second, a “strong and successful management and leader image” is important in city branding of the Eskişehir case. Third, the findings indicate that it is possible to build a brand not only through international and national projects but also by local plans, projects and activity patterns. Last, contrary to the general understanding, a city branding policy can be successful even if it is focused on the national but not the global level. With respect to findings, the thesis underlines two issues, which may contribute to city branding policies and strategies: the first, the need for consideration of “urban life quality, quality of life, livability, human development” while designing competitive and city branding strategies; and the second defining a management based on collaborative work under a strong leadership in a successful city branding policy and practice.

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Citation Formats
E. Koç, “City branding / image building as a new paradigm: the case of Eskişehir,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2018.