City branding and international economic relations

  • economy

This working group focuses on how city identity, branding and marketing can reinforce strategic plans for growth and prosperity by attracting investment, business, people and tourists

Main Achievements from 2019:
Achievement 1:
- Critical friendly reviews of the City Brand projects of the cities of Ghent and Lille Métropole.
- Good practice exchange in the field of collaborative storytelling to ensure innovation and sustainability (cases of Barcelona, Milan, Bilbao and Grenoble Alpes Métropole).
Achievement 2:
- Good practice exchange in the field of co-branding city/ metropolitan areas / region (cases of Barcelona/Catalonia initiative and the Grenoble Alpes Métropole place branding tool)
Achievement 3:
- Good practice exchange in the field of knowmad talent attraction (case of Enschede / Netwerkstad Twente)
- Barcelona proactive action to map potential European cities to join WG City Branding and International Economic Relations and invite them to join the EUROCITIES network.
Specific objectives for 2020 are:
Objective 1
- Help cities develop efficient digital tools and take full advantage of professional social networks to promote talent and FDI attractiveness .
How do you want to achieve it? World benchmarking of successful city branding and talent & FDi attrativeness strategies.
Objective 2
- Helping cities to use the smart / digital asset as a key aspect for their FDi & talent attractiveness strategies.
- Turning big data into knowledge to design better international economic relations and city branding policies.
How do you want to achieve it? - Showcase best practices in the field through a dedicated study visit to Barcelona's Ca L'Alier Urban Innovation Center in November 2020 to showcase initiatives such as Barcelona Smart City Expo, Barcelona Digital Talent, EIT Smart Urban Mobility.-- collaboration to be discussed with WG Data of the Knowledge Society Forum.
Objective 3
- Help cities increase citizens participation in decision making and turning this into an asset for city conscious city branding.
- Increase the number of members of WG City branding & International Economic Relations.
How do you want to achieve it? Promoting a joint event on citizens' engagement, with the Creative Citizenship WG (Cooperation Forum) and the Digital Citizenship Task Force (Knowledge Society Forum), to be held by Murcia at the end of April/beginning of May 2020 to showcase the Murcia Urban DNA initiative. Inviting a keynote speaker from a European Business School, renowned expert in conscious brands to help cities build city branding strategies based in sustainable city assets at the EDF meeting in Valladolid (February 2020).
With the initiative "Try EUROCITIES" to allow non member cities to attend a EUROCITIES meeting, in collaboration with the city of Valladolid, host of the February 2020 EDF meeting.
Which EUROCITIES strategic objectives are your objectives contributing to? 
- Promote the attractiveness of cities for people, business andinvestments;
- Promote safe, connected and sustainable urban mobility;
- Drive digital transformation;
- Manage the use of disruptive technologies to transform public services;
- Strengthen public participation in decision making.


Consol Vancells
City Branding Project Coordinator, Barcelona City Council

vice chair

Joan Chicon Vallejo
Terrassa Metropolitan Area
Head for European and International Affairs and City Marketing

vice chair

Fabienne Turpin
Grenoble Alpes Metropole
Directrice Promotion Tourisme

EUROCITIES staff contact

Aleksandra Olejnik
EUROCITIES Brussels office
Policy advisor