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Urban hospitality and urban revitalisation: the rebranding of place through leisure consumption in Woolwich, south-east London.

Urban hospitality and urban revitalisation: the rebranding of place through leisure consumption in Woolwich, south-east London.

Vlachos, Peter ORCID: 0000-0002-4870-9006 (2019) Urban hospitality and urban revitalisation: the rebranding of place through leisure consumption in Woolwich, south-east London. In: Council for Hospitality Management Education (CHME) Annual Conference 2019, 21-24 May 2019, London.

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Abstract

The purpose of this study is to analyse the place-branding effects of urban hospitality within urban revitalisation initiatives.

Over the past three decades, a growing literature has emerged that reflects on the revitalisation of formerly industrial urban places and spaces (Sieber, 1991; Cowan, 2016). Much of this previous research has related to the transition from previous industrial (production) use of urban space to subsequent leisure, entertainment and hospitality (consumption) uses (Mansfeld, 1992; Lorente, 1996; Mommaas, 2004; Murphy and Boyle, 2006; Bavinton, 2013).

These revitalisation initiatives were often top-down urban redevelopment projects (Oc and Tiesdell, 1991; Hall, 1998; Greenberg, 1996) in the service of the urban ‘growth machine’ (Molotch, 1976). However more recent neo-liberal market-led political economy trends have required an ‘urban assemblage’ of interests (Farias and Bender, 2012; Jacobs, 2012).

Yet ‘buzz' remains a tenuous concept (Storper and Venables, 2004; Drake, 2003) and the alignment of interests is not guaranteed to occur in the pace and locales favourable to revitalisation objectives.
The present research is underpinned by the theories of the social construction of place (Lefevre, 1991) and social distinction (Bourdieu, 1984) through the consumption of symbolic goods (Bourdieu, 1985). These sociological theoretical underpinnings are then framed in the context of place branding theory (Morgan et al, 2004; Kavaratzis, 2005) including the use of temporary, pop-up, and ‘meanwhile’ (TPM) spaces.

Geo-tagging (cartographic regression) and visual ethnography were used to identify, catalogue, categorise and analyse the hospitality offer of Woolwich town centre (WTC) and Royal Arsenal Riverside (RAR) pubs, restaurants, cafes, takeaways, lodging, and entertainment.

A categorisation of urban hospitality on offer is presented that includes “early adopters”, “ethnic adaptors”, and “local stalwarts” amongst others.

The findings are significant in that they represent the first known comprehensive attempt to catalogue and analyse the urban hospitality offer in one of the largest recent riverside redevelopments in London.

Item Type: Conference or Conference Paper (Lecture)
Uncontrolled Keywords: urban development, hospitality industry, place branding, leisure consumption
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Business
Faculty of Business > Department of Marketing, Events & Tourism
Last Modified: 30 Sep 2020 22:49
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/28997

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