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Conceptualizing City Image Change: The ‘Re-Imaging' of Barcelona

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In recent years many post-industrial cities have implemented ambitious re-imaging strategies to appeal to a variety of external audiences. This paper identifies a conceptual framework within which the effects of these initiatives on tourists' images can be understood. The framework contends that re-imaging can affect different city image components through the connotations and synecdochical images generated. The value of this framework is then illustrated by its application to the re-imaging initiatives adopted by Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. This case study reveals that the mechanisms identified in the framework are useful ways of explaining how city images are modified. It also suggests that the pursuit of image change through these processes has important implications for the general direction and outcomes of wider regeneration objectives.

Keywords: Barcelona; Cities; images; re-imaging; semiotics

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Centre for Tourism, University of Westminster, London, UK

Publication date: 2005-09-01

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