"Dressed for success": Entrepreneurial cities; sports and public space

Catharina Thörn
Department of Culture, Aesthetics and Media, Göteborg University, Sweden

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Ingår i: The ESF-LiU Conference Cities and Media: Cultural Perspectives on Urban Identities in a Mediatized World Vadstena; Sweden; 25-29 October; 2

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 20:7, s. 67–77

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Publicerad: 2007-03-06


ISSN: 1650-3686 (tryckt), 1650-3740 (online)


Changes underway in the global economy have changed the governance of cities where private and public partnerships plays a central role in planning the city. Cities must market themselves in order to attract investments; tourism and not least; the creative class. Public spaces in the city centres are increasingly seen as integral parts of regeneration strategies focused on developing positive images. One of the most obvious changes is the turn towards so-called cultural strategies that range from the promotion of cultural gentrification to the implementation of various "quality-of-life projects." All of these strategies attach great importance to design and visual symbols. For former industrial cities bigger events such as for example sports championships play an important role in the transformation to post-industrial cities. This article discusses how public space of the city centre of Göteborg was used during the European Athletic Championship 2006 to market Göteborg as a city. The article ends up with a discussion of the meaning of public space in the age of entrepreneurialism.


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