This toolkit provides analysis, reflection, tips and guidance on how to better communicate the city through CH. First of all, it helps to identify the concepts and practices that can be used for constructing a consistent narrative of the historical European cities in a contemporary and global context. The main aim is finding a path for these cities in order to communicate their uniqueness and protect the legacy coming from the past as an asset for the future.

This place brand toolkit will intend to provide guidance and inspiration in order to translate a more comprehensive perspective of CH into outstanding stories and captivating images able to catch the interest not only of visitors but also investors, innovators and the local population. In short, a simple tool to help get the most of CH when branding and communicating the contemporary city.

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1.1. Aims

The final objective is to tell brilliant stories, with a concise and clear narrative, using compelling images

Obviously, every city is different and every city should have its own strategy. However, this toolkit provides techniques and examples on how to tell stories connected to CH with the purpose of place brand it successfully. The final objective is to tell brilliant stories, with a concise and clear narrative, using compelling images. These stories, anyhow, should be part of a whole conceptual and visual strategy that aids to create a coherent vision of the resources and values of every specific city.


The bigger and smaller stories of the city should be recognisable, comprehensible and enjoyable for a wide range of citizens and visitors. They should be a collective platform for sharing information, knowledge and experiences. They must record and inspire actions that help to build up community and help in the development of a new urban future. This toolkit appears as a guide to correct and avoid the mistakes that are being done in the communication of the city. Cities need a foresight, a plan, and plans need to be designed and told. They are created through text and images, and altogether, they provide a final and complete narrative.

1.2. Target Audiences

The main target groups of the toolkit are the public authorities of the city, specifically those working on urban development, city branding and city marketing. It is as well a valuable tool for the areas devoted to the attraction of investors, innovators and talent. And, of course, it is dedicated to those working on tourism and communication departments and the managers working on heritage issues and cultural activities and events (museums, libraries...).

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Secondly this toolkit is provided as a communication guide for stakeholders working on urbanism, architecture, contemporary art, heritage management and preservation, creative industries, tourism...; and, of course, companies, associations and individuals working on these issues and others not directly related to heritage but that want to enhance their communication strategy relating them to the “bigger picture” (history, art, heritage...) of their cities.

1.3. A Dynamic and Versatile Tool

This toolkit is not a common “brand toolkit”. It doesn't provide the integral and exhaustive requirements and recommendations of a classical toolkit for the marketing campaign of one company: with just one logo, one strapline, colours, etc.


In contrast to that, this toolkit is an open, dynamic and versatile one, prepared for being used by different city's institutions and stakeholders in a very different range. Obviously, the recommendations that are shown here must be adapted to diverse cities with completely different backgrounds, objectives, climates, scales, problems, aims… That's why here there is not a delivery of straightforward tips on how to create a logo, visuals or messages to be spread in just one form for a given period of time.

A city is not a company. It's much bigger and more complex. It stands over its shoulders the weight of a long history. It has inherited a much longer past to deal with. Such a thematic, cross-Country place brand toolkit of this kind has never been tried.

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1.4. A Crowdsourcing Perspective


For creating this toolkit loads of communication materials coming from a wide range of cities have been analysed. Most of them focus on the European context and specifically related to the dissemination of cultural heritage. In the gathering of specific stories, the main aim was to seek some alternative visions, out of the beaten track, coming from a personal, social or cultural point of view. The objective was to find a wide variety of stories, including as much as possible some traditionally hidden areas. But, in order not to lose sight of the official and bigger picture of the cities, we have taken into account some aspects of the communication strategies developed in the cities in the last decades. It is a fact that every particular story of the city required a connection with the big urban narrative.


Therefore, collecting, filtering and curating this material has been the major task. It was never the objective to create new data or narratives. This toolkit cannot (and mustn't) design new identities or narratives for these cities. Instead of that, the intention was just to point out what has been well done in the past, identifying mistakes and showing possible paths for driving good practices on how to communicate the city in the future.


Every particular

story of the city

required a connection

with the big

urban narrative