Journal of Place Management and Development Awards for Excellence: Who won and why

Yesterday, Emerald Group Publishing, publishers of our Journal of Place Management and Development, (JPMD) announced the 2015 awards for excellence across the whole of their journal portfolio.

First of all, on behalf of the Editorial Board and Team, I would like to congratulate our JPMD winners listed below. It is not easy to be chosen for one of these awards. As many of our articles have high download figures and citations, we also take into account other factors, especially the contribution of a paper to the aims and objectives of the journal, when we are judging. Likewise, as we are lucky to have such a wonderful body of knowledgeable and reliable reviewers, we have to look for other outstanding qualities, to recognise our award-winning reviewers.

So, here are the JPMD, 2015 Outstanding Authors and Reviewers along with a short commentary from me explaining why they were chosen.

Outstanding Paper

The award of Outstanding Paper 2015 goes to Staci M. Zavattaro, for “Re-imagining the sustainability narrative in US cities“, Journal of Place Management and Development, Vol. 7 Iss: 3, pp.189 – 205.

Staci takes a critical look at how US cities are communicating about sustainability, through reviewing content on their websites. The findings suggest rather a myopic (environmentally-focused) view of sustainability is often portrayed, ignoring social and economic goals. However, of more concern, is the place marketing activity analysed. This promotes ‘sustainability as consumption’ which Staci notes is unsustainable. As well as these findings, there are four other reasons which, together, we feel makes this paper outstanding.

First, the paper is interdisciplinary – combining theory and methods from political science, public administration, marketing, management and tourism. The literature reviewed is rich enough to fully analyse the research problem identified, in this case the ‘gap’ between the long-term aim of sustainability for the planet and the current communication practices of specific cities.

The research problem also deserves special mention, as the second reason this paper was enjoyed by the judges. It is a ‘real-word’ problem, affecting most places. It is not merely an academic endeavour, so ultimately the findings can be adopted/adapted/interpreted by place managers to make better, more sustainable, places.

Third, the method was appropriate and ‘scientific’ in its application. As a piece of qualitative research it was clear what content had been chosen to analyse and how it was analysed.

Finally, Staci has identified recommendations for practitioners – as part of the overall methodology adopted (in other words, these are not just an afterthought – but their development is an intrinsic part of the study). As the official journal of the Institute of Place Management, where the great majority of our members are practitioners, there is an expectation that articles in the journal will be useful outside of academic circles, and can have genuine impact. It is not much help to a busy, and usually under-resourced, place manager to read ‘critical reviews’ which only identify the faults and flaws in current practice and do not offer solutions or recommendations to improve the status quo.

Highly Commended Paper

The award of Highly Commended Paper 2015 goes to Salman Yousaf and Li Huaibin, for “Branding Pakistan as a “Sufi” country: the role of religion in developing a nation’s brand”, Journal of Place Management and Development, Vol. 7 Iss: 1, pp.90 – 104.

Salman and Li present a very different type of paper. It is almost a ‘worked example’ of a specific policy recommendation – to associate Pakistan with the many positive aspects of the Sufi religion – in contrast to the existing, widely-held, negative perceptions of the country. As a journal that seeks to publish research of international importance, this article has the potential to make a real difference to a whole nation, if the recommendations are adopted by policy makers. The passion and conviction with which the authors write is also unusual in journal articles. But perhaps not in the Journal of Place Management and Development, where ‘place’ and ‘people’ are valued as an intrinsic part of the research inquiry.

Outstanding Reviewers

The awards for Outstanding Reviewers 2015 go to Javier Lloveras and
Eduardo Oliveira, for similar reasons. Both Javier and Eduardo have recently completed their PhDs. However, when they were both in their final year, preoccupied with the stresses and strains that come with the fast-approaching deadline of ‘hand-in’, they both found time to review for JPMD. Despite being new to the process, their responses were extremely detailed, offering lots of guidance and advice for the authors if aspects needed to be improved or, if they felt the paper was not good enough, very specific feedback explaining their decisions. It is really good to see academics at the start of their career share their skills and knowledge of their subject areas so willingly.

Congratulations Staci, Salman, Li, Javier and Eduardo! Our outstanding class of 2015.

Note:

The Outstanding Paper is available to download, free of charge, until 1st June 2016. Staci M. Zavattaro, “Re-imagining the sustainability narrative in US cities“, Journal of Place Management and Development, Vol. 7 Iss: 3, pp.189 – 205.

The Highly Commended Paper is available to download, free of charge, from 1st to 31st July 2015. Salman Yousaf and Li Huaibin, “Branding Pakistan as a “Sufi” country: the role of religion in developing a nation’s brand“, Journal of Place Management and Development, Vol. 7 Iss: 1, pp.90 – 104.

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Journal of Place Management and Development – Top 10 Articles

We have just had our download figures for the Journal of Place Management and Development for last year (2011).  Here are the 10 most downloaded articles with the download figures.  Congratulations to the authors!

Vishwas Maheshwari, Ian Vandewalle, David Bamber (2011), Place branding’s role in sustainable development, Vol. 4, No. 2, pp 198-213. (634 downloads).

Sebastian Zenker (2011), How to catch a city? The concept and measurement of place brands, Vol. 4, No. 1, pp 40-52. (622 downloads).

Melodena Stephens Balakrishnan (2008), Dubai – a star in the east: A case study in strategic destination branding, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp 62-91. (611 downloads)

Andrea Lucarelli, Per Olof Berg (2011), City branding: a state-of-the-art review of the research domain, Vol. 4, No. 1, pp 9-27. (601 downloads)

Helena Maria Baptista Alves, Ana María Campón Cerro, Ana Vanessa Ferreira Martins (2010), Impacts of small tourism events on rural places, Vol. 3, No. 1, pp 22-37. (479 downloads)

Leonard A. Jackson (2008), Residents’ perceptions of the impacts of special event tourism, Vol. 1, No. 3, pp 240-255. (326 downloads)

Mihalis Kavaratzis, Gregory Ashworth (2008), Place marketing: how did we get here and where are we going?, Vol. 1, No. 2, pp 150-165. (325 downloads)

Ares Kalandides (2011), The problem with spatial identity: revisiting the “sense of place”, Vol. 4, No. 1, pp 28-39. (297 downloads)

Gert-Jan Hospers (2010), Making sense of place: from cold to warm city marketing, Vol. 3, No. 3, pp 182-193. (253 downloads)

E.J. Cilliers, E. Diemont, D.J. Stobbelaar, W. Timmermans (2010), Sustainable green urban planning: the Green Credit Tool, Vol. 3, No. 1, pp 57-66. (226 downloads).

 

Our download figures for 2011 were just under 12,000.  That’s 4,000 more than last year.   All members of the Institute of Place Management can access the JPMD.

Why me and place management?

Earlier in the week I did a telephone interview with Emerald Insight, the publishers of our journal (Journal of Place Management and Development). Most of the questions were related to what place management was and how it was evolving as an academic subject, but one of the questions that really got me thinking was why I had personally become involved in it.

One of the major factors behind my interest is, not surprisingly, location related.  I came to work at Manchester Metropolitan University in October 1997, at which time there was already a healthy interest in town centre management (TCM), with most of the world’s researchers of the topic having spent some time at MMU in their career.

Why TCM @ MMU?  Well probably because MMU was the first university (in Europe at least) to offer Retail Management as a degree – and we have, for many years, had geographers present in the business school.  The regular social and intellectual interaction between geographers and marketers has meant there has been a lively group of co-located academic colleagues from different disciplines…so it is no surprise a ‘new’ subject of interest has been born.

Another factor was the Department’s interest in the independent retail sector –  family owned small shops and service businesses – especially those located in town centres. From the research projects I was involved with it became very apparent that the embedding of businesses within their local community could have a positive effect on their sustainability.

In many ways a shop’s future is outside the owner’s hands: if their local economy is not being managed well and the town centre is going into decline, then it’s very difficult for them as an individual operator to do much about it. If the stakeholders with an interest in the town centre get together, then, through collective action, changes can be made.  Changes such as agreeing a common day for late-night opening, publishing a town centre guide or funding a park and ride scheme.

I like place management as I’ve always been the sort of person who, if things aren’t going right, I don’t like to sit around and complain. So I see it as something where everyone can make a difference, not just elected representatives or people that have ‘place manager’ as a job title.

I have just moved into Manchester city centre, across the road from work, which you can see from the cool new Street View from Google Maps.

I have asked to join Manchester City Centre’s Residents’ Forum. I think it’s about time I got involved in place management in a practical way.  The Forum is actively involved in consultations for planning and developments in the city centre as well as busy doing practical things like making improvements to inner city parks.

So, thanks to Emerald for asking me the question “how did you get involved in place management”…obviously it wasn’t planned but then I am a great believer in serendipity.

You can read the full version of the interview in the next issue of the Journal of Place Management and Development or on the Emerald website .