Place branding is increasingly part of the agenda of numerous public authorities, being deemed a tool for place management. Nations, regions, cities and inter-regional networks brand their developmental initiatives in order to attract and retain resources. In the light of the contemporary debate on regional and local development, this paper discusses the capacity of place branding to support an endogenous development, by legitimizing emerging social groups and by reinforcing their sense of place. The research analyzes the added value derived from the interplay of local actors who interact with the place brand. The aim is thus to understand the extent to which place branding boosts the crucial processes that lead to an endogenous development i.e. identity-building involving multiple local communities, social learning, and institutional changes. The investigation focuses on an attempt to brand the Tuscan innovative milieu, specifically the Arno Valley in Tuscan. Empirical evidence proves that the Arnovalley brand triggered limited social learning, fairly weak community-building, and left little room for institutional change.
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