Volume 8 Issue 3 is a Special Edition of the Journal featuring papers first presented at the 3rd IPM Conference in Poznan, Poland. This Issue has edited by Conference Chair, Dr Magdalena Florek.

The Issue is now available online as an Earlycite edition.

Florek, M, Massimo, G Sustainability, liveablity and connectivity

Insch A, Stuart M Understanding resident city brand disengagement This research addresses the gap in understanding residents’ disengagement from their city brand. The purpose was to identify the factors underlying residents’ lack of involvement and engagement with their city brand. Four major themes or factors that influence residents’ disengagement were identified: 1) lack of brand awareness/knowledge, 2) lack of brand identification, 3) disapproval of local government actions, and 4) cynical attitudes towards involvement.

Herezniak M, Anders-Morawska J City brand strategy evaluation: in search of effectiveness indicators The purpose of this paper is to describe and analyse a process for developing indicators of effectiveness for the city brand strategy. The paper addresses three important considerations to be taken into account by city managers when they seek to develop criteria for measuring the effectiveness of branding: (1) links between tangible and intangible effects of brand implementation; (2) spillover effects that sectoral strategies such as those aimed at urban renewal have on the city brand and vice versa; and (3) the adoption of a three-fold temporal regime whereby the effects of projects that contribute to the brand strategy are measured in the short, medium and long term.

Rozhkov K, Skriabina N How to capture the idea of a place? The case of five Moscow districts This paper aims to develop a methodological approach to place product analysis that aims to identify the distinctive ideas of places. Product concepts of five Moscow districts were formulated as sets of benefits or district uses (needs satisfied and activities encouraged) offered to residents. The concepts are expressed in terms of typical constructions but reflect the distinctive features and specificities of the districts.

Omholt T Developing a theoretical framework to analyze an urban culinary culture and explain restaurant cluster developments The purpose of this paper is to develop a theoretical framework to explain the development of sustainable culinary places and restaurant clusters. The main part of our findings is based on the comparison of two case studies of the development of restaurant clusters, representing two different forms of knowledge management and governance.

Shoaib T, Keivani R Branding the new city: exploring place branding in Saudi Arabia Place Branding theory is geared towards existing places and does not take into account newly developed cities. Here ‘Place Branding’ takes on a new significance. How do we develop a brand for a city that does not yet exist? Who are the actors involved and how do they influence the process? Initial findings suggest that branding messages in KAEC are fragmented with little government or other stakeholder involvement leading to poor brand awareness and performance. The study also emphasises the importance of branding practices in the beginning stages of new city development. It further suggests that the message itself, the conceptual place brand, can represent a socially constructed idea or belief that can shape perceptions about the project before physical form is developed.

Kavaratzis M Place branding scholars and practitioners: 'strangers in the night'? The purpose of this commentary is to deal with the widely acknowledged gap between place branding theory and practice. It makes a direct attempt to address fundamental questions regarding the relationship between place branding scholars and practitioners. The article reports on the Special Session ‘Theory meets Practice’ that was organised at the Institute of Place Management Conference in Poznan, Poland in May 2015. The article provides a series of answers regarding the current relationship between place branding theoreticians and practitioners. It also provides an assessment of the motivations and benefits of working more closely together. In this way, the article initiates a discussion that might help place branding theory and practice come closer together.