chapter  23
Urban transformation and city branding in the Greater Pearl River Delta
ByMartin de Jong, Yawei Chen, Miaoxi Zhao, Haiyan Lu
Pages 16

This chapter explores the self-profiling efforts of three key cities in the Greater Pearl River Delta (Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Guangzhou). In today's global, information-driven society, economic success is increasingly seen as based upon the effective utilization of intangible assets such as knowledge, skills and innovative potential as key resources for obtaining competitive advantage. Around the world, cities are influenced by policy initiatives undertaken by international, national and provincial institutes and authorities to boost economic greening and urban transitions. If local governments decide to follow their leads, submit proposals for advice, funding and awards, their gain is an improvement in reputation which is beneficial in terms of attractiveness to investors. International organizations may elect cities to become 'ecological capital', 'knowledge city of the year' or 'smartest region in the world'. Often, urban governments are in fact unsure what terminology is suitable for their self-profile or lack the originality to come up with a city-brand that makes them stand out positively.