My city, my love: philanthropy and rebranding of a contested city image to improve sense of place and city pride

Ole Have Jørgensen, Martin Hannibal

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftsartikelForskningpeer review


What are the motives for private businesses investment in city-branding.? A positive city image may attract new businesses while a contested image may limit the opportunities, also for existing businesses. Our data originates from the Danish city of Horsens. Horsens has over a 20-year period changed image from being nationally known as a prison city to become nationally known as a concert and event city. The key to success has been a private limited liability company in a cross-sectoral partnership between investors from private businesses, the city and third sector organizations. We analyzed business investors motives through a lens of philanthropy, human geography, and social sustainability. We find that investors see their investment as philanthropic, but that traditional motives behind philanthropy are insufficient to describe all motives behind the investment. Instead, we find that investors sense of place, place attachment and city pride was strongly affected by the contested city image in the outside world and a key to their involvement in the project. We believe that the key to change is to affect the perception of the external world, because only the resonance from the outside world can confirm citizens and businesses that a project is successful.This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
TidsskriftPlace Branding and Public Diplomacy
Udgave nummer4
Sider (fra-til)514-524
Antal sider10
StatusUdgivet - 2023


  • city image
  • city pride
  • philanthropic investment
  • place attacment
  • sense of place
  • Erhvervsliv, handel og økonomi


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