Project Team

Branding the City is research initiative led by the City Leadership Lab for the Japan Local Government Centre, the London office of the Japanese Council of Local Authorities for International Relations (CLAIR). The project is geared towards identifying key drivers and trends in city promotion and marketing across major metropolises in Europe and Japan. Branding the City focuses not only on place promotion, but also on the public diplomacy activities of major global cities (and their leaders) seeking to chart new and innovative modes of international networking that are not only geared towards economic prosperity, but also towards new modes of global engagement by progressive city leaders.


Focused on place promotion and international networking strategies, the project aims at developing working definitions of city marketing, highlighting leadership approaches to international networking and promotion across Europe, extending comparative considerations and suggesting strategic trends for Japanese local governments. The project culminates in advice for CLAIR as well as in a public report on the role of city branding in city leadership, highlighting the importance of responsible and implementable branding as a formal commitment to a city’s prosperity.