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IV Biennal - Rotterdam 2001

Parallel Session 5: Project development and culture

Report: Cliff Hague (Royal Town Planning Institute, United Kingdom - member of the PIWP)

The session began with the question whether it is possible to create something such as 'identity'; within 30 seconds there was agreement about the (positive) answer. Having said that, it was apparent, however, that not everyone was starting from the same premises.
The creation of identity is particularly visible if it is linked to the private sector, in which identities are a common language. Catchwords such as multicultural, niche markets and smart technology are quite commonplace in that context. An identity connects a product to a specific lifestyle.
In the changing force field new skills are required in which it is especially important to listen to people. With workshops and visual images municipalities can work at their own branding, whereby incidentally the question of whether the city itself must be regarded as a brand has not yet been answered. It is possible that the city is too complicated and diverse for this. The question of where the real power lies must also be answered. Does the market represent a new freedom or is it a new kind of slavery?