Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Subscribe now for You or Your Team.

Learn More →

Staging a ‘Chinatown’ in Berlin: The role of city branding in the urban governance of ethnic diversity

Staging a ‘Chinatown’ in Berlin: The role of city branding in the urban governance of ethnic... Migration is predominantly directed towards cities that have been facing a highly competitive global environment within the last 30 years of globalisation. Against the background of economic restructuring, cities are looking for new forms of city branding. In this process, ethno-cultural diversity is increasingly regarded as an asset, leading to the branding of migrant neighbourhoods, especially those characterised by migrant economies. These agglomerations of shops, cafés and restaurants provide places of leisure and consumption for cosmopolitan urbanites. This paper shows how Berlin’s municipal politicians failed in staging ‘Chinatowns’ and ‘Asiatowns’ as ethnically branded commercial districts and argues that the Vietnamese migrants who are primarily addressed by these projects are not readily marketable by a city-branding approach. The assumed common identity of Asian migrants in Berlin and the city’s top-down municipal approach contradict the structures of the heterogeneous group of Vietnamese residents. This paper traces Berlin’s transition from a reactive to a proactive approach in the marketing of ethno-cultural diversity. My approach is to embed the Dong Xuan Centre in Berlin-Lichtenberg, a Vietnamese-run wholesale centre that was founded through Vietnamese agency, in the local discourse on Asia- and Chinatowns. The study shows that the centre’s management appears to be an active agent in the branding process of the project, modelling itself after the global brand of ‘Chinatown’. However, the centre’s vision of a place of cultural life and trade contradicts German planning laws, a conflict that has led to ongoing negotiations between the centre’s management and the district government, thereby hindering its branding. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png European Urban and Regional Studies SAGE

Staging a ‘Chinatown’ in Berlin: The role of city branding in the urban governance of ethnic diversity

European Urban and Regional Studies , Volume 24 (3): 14 – Jul 1, 2017

Loading next page...
 
/lp/sage/staging-a-chinatown-in-berlin-the-role-of-city-branding-in-the-urban-GBWHuUFE5Y

References (68)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© The Author(s) 2016
ISSN
0969-7764
eISSN
1461-7145
DOI
10.1177/0969776416637208
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Migration is predominantly directed towards cities that have been facing a highly competitive global environment within the last 30 years of globalisation. Against the background of economic restructuring, cities are looking for new forms of city branding. In this process, ethno-cultural diversity is increasingly regarded as an asset, leading to the branding of migrant neighbourhoods, especially those characterised by migrant economies. These agglomerations of shops, cafés and restaurants provide places of leisure and consumption for cosmopolitan urbanites. This paper shows how Berlin’s municipal politicians failed in staging ‘Chinatowns’ and ‘Asiatowns’ as ethnically branded commercial districts and argues that the Vietnamese migrants who are primarily addressed by these projects are not readily marketable by a city-branding approach. The assumed common identity of Asian migrants in Berlin and the city’s top-down municipal approach contradict the structures of the heterogeneous group of Vietnamese residents. This paper traces Berlin’s transition from a reactive to a proactive approach in the marketing of ethno-cultural diversity. My approach is to embed the Dong Xuan Centre in Berlin-Lichtenberg, a Vietnamese-run wholesale centre that was founded through Vietnamese agency, in the local discourse on Asia- and Chinatowns. The study shows that the centre’s management appears to be an active agent in the branding process of the project, modelling itself after the global brand of ‘Chinatown’. However, the centre’s vision of a place of cultural life and trade contradicts German planning laws, a conflict that has led to ongoing negotiations between the centre’s management and the district government, thereby hindering its branding.

Journal

European Urban and Regional StudiesSAGE

Published: Jul 1, 2017

There are no references for this article.