Are city initiatives Regressive or Art?

For many towns tourism is their main source of income therefore it is important they continue to attract domestic and international tourists to their township. However, the potential tourist must first become aware that the township exists. This is where creative cities and marketing campaigns become a crucial part of generating tourism.  Towns/ Cities have had to become creative and display initiative in an attempt to stand out on a global scale. As Pratt (2011) states globalization in this context is centred on differentiation and difference of the city opposed to becoming a global community, these cities thrive to stand out. Through these cities and towns we have seen ‘city branding’ become an institutionalized concept. These days it appears that if cities and townships do not have a unique heritage which would appeal to tourists then they will attempt to create a spectacle, thus a cultural icon (Pratt 2011) to become a tourism icon. This links back to the globalization concept employed in this context, towns will use infrastructure funds on an item that will make them ‘unique’ to become a unique township/ city, Pratt (2011) notes that towns/cities often find themselves as a consumption hub that require constant investment to continue being this ‘hub’.

I believe in the Wollongong tourism video (as seen below) it is employing these concepts and attempting to become a hub and be a unique city. Though through analysis of this video it is clear they are actually promoting the Australian New South Wales South Coast rather than just the Wollongong area

Though what is wrong with such a cultural change? It could be assumed that this is a typical ‘win win’ situation and that creative city initiatives will provide a nice, safe, clean city as-well as providing local employment (Pratt 2011).  The reality is often that this quality of life is regulated for very few of the population or for the tourist population.  Pratt (2011) nevertheless believes that often city innovations can be more regressive through the required investment in such initiatives. It could be argued that through comparing the 1989 Wollongong promotion video (as seen below) and the current marketing campaign (as previously shown above) that Pratt’s (2011) regressive concept is accurate and provides evidence that Wollongong has become more commercial in its branding. 

References: Pratt, A 2011, ‘The Cultural Contradictions of the Creative City”, City, Culture and Society two, pp. 123-130.

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