The City Brand at the Tipping Point
"Munich is colorful" is an essential part of the citizens' self-image. In June 2015, this identity was at risk, when a demonstration of the right-wing oriented PEGIDA movement demonstrated against a peaceful multi-cultural city life. As a response, over 1 million people organized a demonstration for an open-minded and tolerant Munich labelled "Munich is colorful". During the course of the current refugee crisis, thousands of volunteers tirelessly prove how open-minded and tolerant Munich is. This shows how the city's identity is constructed by the citizens (co-creation).By this means, Munich's brand (brand= the social meaning of an object through the perception of users and observers) is constructed by its citizens. At the same time, the refugee crisis poses a challenge for the city. The media often report that such a spirit can turn and, therefore, the constructed identity can be disenthral (co-deconstruction).From a scientific and political point of view, it is of great interest to observe and analyze this process and to investigate its meaning for the brand image of Munich. This will be executed via (1) a detailed case study with qualitative interviews and a media analysis. Furthermore, (2) a scenario-study will examine the different effect of image co-creation and co-deconstruction. The focus will specifically lie on the etic point of view as well as on tourism through a representative comparative study of the states.
Lebendige Stadt Foundation
University of Applied Sciences Salzburg, Universität der Bundeswehr München