Internet notebook about my work: deep listening to facilitate positive change

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Sunday, 20 April 2008

Biodiversity and city branding

Cities have always been brands. Famous cities are usually associated in people’s minds with a single quality, promise or story. Guess to which cities the following qualities apply: romance, style, energy. People think about cities in termes of climate, pollution, transport and traffic, the cost of living, leisure and sport facilities, law and order, and the cultural life of the city. In the world list of the top 40 city brands, Beijing has recently slipped two places down to the 34th place. It still hopes - like Barcelona - to benefit from the Olympics. And the Chinese government is making a real effort to uplift the image of Beijing of a polluted and unfriendly city to a happy nature friendly city. Environmentalists in China and abroad have warned about the danger of importing invasive species and parasites. If you want to include biodiversity into your city brand you really have to walk the talk and be sensitive to the dangers of importing plants to the indegenous species. For environmentalists this also means that it is often more effective to focus on city brands than on producing more scientific reports.

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