Otwarty dostęp

Industrial forever? Narratives, place identity, and the development path of the city of Zeitz, Germany


There is a growing interest in understanding development processes and opportunities in small and medium-sized towns that so far did not attract much attention in mainstream urban theory. Conventional growth-oriented approaches fail to capture the complexity of local development and policy-making processes because they prioritise production factors and underrate the role of discourse and place-based identity. This paper aims to explore the linkages between narratives, place identity, and local development. As local actors try to make sense of a place’s past and future, they select, contribute to, and mobilise various local narratives. Multiple narratives feed into and are part of a place’s identity that defines a frame for possible development options. The paper uses the case of Zeitz in Saxony-Anhalt (Germany) to analyse the evolution of local development narratives from the 1970s until today. The paper concludes that: i) narrative-making is not a linear process; narratives, spatial imaginaries and local identity are complex, dynamic, and interconnected with each other; ii) local narratives help to construct a coherent imaginary of a place and are mutually intertwined with local development and policies; and iii) local narratives are interdependent with external events and strategies requiring a multiscalar relational perspective on local development processes.

Częstotliwość wydawania:
4 razy w roku
Dziedziny czasopisma:
Business and Economics, Business Management, Industries, Environmental Management, Geosciences, Geography