Celebrating 10 years of the Journal of Place Management and Development

From its inception the Journal of Place Management and Development, published by Emerald, set out to bridge the gap between theory and practice and publish high quality research that would help place managers with the challenges they face. In this issue, editors Dominic Medway, Cathy Parker and Gareth Roberts reflect on the past 12 months as a period that has been extremely challenging - from terror attacks at pop concerts, markets and in crowded streets to the horrific fire at Grenfell Tower, many places and people have faced considerable trauma.

These tragedies are shocking and extreme - and the first line of response is, of course, the emergency services.  However, once the immediate threat is dealt with there is a need to restore some sort of normality.  We know that it is the job of many IPM members to help people, businesses and places to cope in the aftermath, as well as think how places can be made better, safer and fairer. We hope the research published in the JPMD can assist.

Over the past 10 years we have seen the practice of place management move from one which was almost entirely focused upon feel-good factors; marketing, events, hanging baskets and Christmas lights to one which now understands that everything that happens in a location - both good and bad - is of relevance to place management.  A similar transition is being seen on the pages of the JPMD - especially as we are publishing more articles from locations in the world where conflict and struggle have been more commonplace. 

For example, in our latest issue (Volume 10 Issue 3 - out now) we carry an article that investigates how people are often left out of place decision making processes and the benefits more participatory approaches can bring ("Participatory planning in Israel: from theory to practice" by Batel Eshkol and Alon Eshkol). We have an article that reaffirms the importance of reality over rhetoric by stressing that a positive reputation for a place is achieved, first and foremost through place development and management, not through communications (Fabiana Gondim Mariutti's "The placement of country reputation towards place management"). We learn that people's attachment to place can be incredibly strong, even when there are many physical problems associated with the location ("Two concepts of community in the Niger Delta: Social sense of communality, and a geographical sense of place. Are they compatible?" by Nwamaka Okeke-Ogbuafor, Tim Gray and Selina Stead). At the same time, a more puralist approach to place branding is proposed (in Sebastian Zenker and Erik Braun's "Questioning a “one size fits all” city brand: Developing a branded house strategy for place brand management") accepting that different place users can have very different expectations of, and feelings towards, a place.  Finally, we also publish an article that helps to understand how place associations can be changed and how this process can be managed in a way that can also instill faith ("The magic of place branding: regional brand identity in transition" by Cecilia Cassinger and Jörgen Eksell).

We hope, in the longer term, the more holistic and inclusive approach to understanding place management and development that we encourage in our editorship of the JPMD will help to solve some of the serious problems our towns and cities are facing. We look forward to the next 10 years.

Cathy Parker, Dominic Medway, Simon Quin and Gareth Roberts.

Institute of Place Management, Manchester Metropolitan University.

Read more here

Image : Ian Southerin

The Journal of Place Management and Development is the official journal of the Institute of Place Management.  Members of the IPM are entitled to free access to the JPMD.