Event branding, image reconstruction and urban regeneration: A case study of Liverpool as the 2008 European capital of culture

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The improvement of city image is one part of the long process of Liverpool’s regeneration. As a former industrial centre, Liverpool saw the opportunity of staging the 2008 European Capital of Culture (ECOC) as a crucial opportunity to replace the negative stereotypes associated with the city and show itself off to the world. Based on case study material, the aim of this paper is to explore the role played by the ECOC event within Liverpool’s branding, reimaging and regeneration efforts. To provide a more complete evaluation of the impacts of the ECOC event on city image, the perceptions of local residents, media and visitors are presented and compared. Also, based on longitudinal data, longer-term changes in image are analysed. The research findings demonstrate that Liverpool experienced a steady rise in the strength of its cultural image, mainly owing to a series of events organised over a number of years, and branding campaigns carried out prior to and during the event. Overall, the impact on image observed in Liverpool reveals a certain degree of commonness, but it also underlines a complexity, especially the link between changing perceptions of crime and the ECOC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)381-392
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Urban Regeneration and Renewal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jun 1



  • City image
  • European capital of culture
  • Event branding
  • Liverpool
  • Urban regeneration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urban Studies

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