Place Identity as Competitive Advantage: Exploring Economic Development Strategies in NOMA and Capital Riverfront Neighborhoods in Washington, D.C.
Brandes, Uwe S.
This research is based on the premise that capturing true identity of place is an integral requirement for achieving competitive advantage in urban development and design. With particular focus on the neighborhood scale of the urban domain, this paper analyzes elements that define place identity while arguing that neighborhoods whom clearly define and balance place image and urban design are more likely to achieve competitive advantage and exponential economic growth. With analysis of the evolution and neighborhood design of NoMa and Capital Riverfront neighborhoods in Washington DC, this research demonstrates the economic importance of managing neighborhood identity and how it informs competitive advantage. While establishing the importance of place identity in designing successful neighborhoods, this research also distinguishes between place identity development and traditional product branding. In making this distinction, this paper presents organic place identity development as a precursor for attracting tourism, investments, talent and trade in an increasingly globalizing and competitive world. Through best practices and findings from case study analysis, this paper reconstructs the theoretical framework of place making and branding and proposes an organic place identify development Model (OPID). This model involves itemizing constituents of community, economic activity, historic elements and the built environment as integral elements of organic place identity development. In essence, the position advanced through this research is that ensuring competitive advantage through organic place identity development should be recognized as an integral element determining performance of urban areas in competition at the city, regional and national levels.
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Social Capital and the “Sidewalk Ballet”: Examining How Streetscape Development Can Influence a Neighborhood’S Social Capital Weyandt, Nicole (Georgetown University, 2018)Designing a neighborhood’s streetscape to be walkable is recognized as a successful way to encourage positive changes such as economic development, neighborhood stability, and increased social capital. My research focuses ...