Top Global Scholars Join Hands to Build City Brands at Tsinghua University

China’s First International City Branding Symposium was held at Tsinghua University on October 23 with the theme of “Positioning Cities: Innovative and Sustainable Strategies for City Development and Transformation.”

The School of Journalism and Communication at Tsinghua University and the City Branding Studio of the school organized and hosted the event, which featured extensive and in-depth discussions on the development of Chinese cities’ image building and brand issues.

In addition to Tsinghua University, the School of Business at Stockholm University, the School of Management at Fudan University and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Financial Strategy Research Institute were major partners. Other organizers included the Forum for Asian Studies at Stockholm University, the Nordic Centre at Fudan University and the School of Government at Peking University.

Liu Binjie, the chairman of the National People’s Congress Education, Science, Culture and Public Health Committee, and Wang Hui, the director of the Beijing Municipal Information Office delivered speeches at the opening ceremony. Mr. Liu, who is also Dean of Journalism and Communication at Tsinghua University, pointed out that the relationship between the city and people should express its spirit and culture. Beijing has three thousand years’ history, but it also contains typical examples of contemporary city development, as well as the Chinese national image communication. “A good city branding effort would guide people to understand and build the city's cultural spirit.”Mr. Liu said.

The forum was China’s First International Academic Symposium on the focused topic of city brand positioning and marketing communication. During the three-day meeting, proximately 100 professional researchers and scholars in the field of brand communication from universities in China and abroad joined together. Their discussions focused on six major themes: “Strategic Communications: Strategy and Planning,” “Sensory Positioning: Atmospheres and Attractiveness,” “Identity and Heritage in Relation to Positioning,” “Innovative Social Branding and Inclusiveness,” “Branding and Innovative Urban Planning” and “Governance and City Branding.”

The director of the City Branding Studio of Tsinghua University, Professor Fan Hong pointed out that the work of city brand research and strategic planning is a cornerstone of future urban development. On one hand, this work integrates the city’s political, economic, historical, cultural and other comprehensive resources effectively, so that it can greatly strengthen work cohesion of the government, citizens and all the people living in the city. On the other hand, it highlights the city's core values and improves its reputation through reshaping the city’s image. The city’s reputation for quality living conditions: investment, tourism, employment and industry development can attract investors, entrepreneurs and tourists to the city.

According to the forum organizing committee, the academic papers will be screened by the Academic Committee, and published on the famous publishing house in monograph form.

As an important international academic conference on the professional field of city branding, the symposium aimed to summarize the international academic subjects in the fields of city brand innovation research. It started from the strategic perspective of city brand positioning and based on the core concept of city development strategy to expand the depth academic exchanges of important areas in the positioning, planning, culture, environment, social management and government innovation.

Proceedings of International City Branding Symposium