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Branding can be more than selling a place. It can be part of governance, it can have implications for planning and design, for economic development, and it can reinforce rather than undermine local democracy. A collective reflection on what is of value and which assets can be built upon often makes a lot of sense. In this, places do not need to be entirely unique, they do not need to compete with all others, and do not need to aspire to being a world class city. 

Van Assche, K., Beunen, R., Oliveira, E., Guest Editors (2020). Place branding and spatial planning: Rethinking synergies and governance. Special issue of European Planning Studies (Vol 28, 7).

Van Assche, K., Beunen, R., & Oliveira, E. (2020). Rethinking planning-branding relations: an introduction. European Planning Studies, 28(7) 1267-1273.

Van Assche, K., Beunen, R., & Lo, M. C. (2016). Place as layered and segmentary commodity: place branding, smart growth and the creation of product and value. International Planning Studies, 21(2), 164-175.

Van Assche, K., Lo, M., Beunen, R. (2012) ‘A perspective on planning, smart growth and place branding’, in F. Go, M. Govers (Eds.) International Place Branding Yearbook 2012. Managing Smart Growth and Sustainability (Houndmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan), pp. 69-80.

Van Assche, K., Lo, M. (2011) ‘Planning, preservation and place branding: a tale of sharing assets and narratives’, Journal of Place Branding and Public Diplomacy 7, 2, 117-126.

Van Assche, Lo, M.C. (2010) ‘Redefining assets in the age of branding. Spatial planning and cultural landscapes’, in K. Gawronski, J. Hernik (Eds.) Spatial planning and development as an instrument for shaping and protecting cultural landscapes (Krakow: Branta).

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