Challenges to the City Imagineering in Hong Kong: Place Making and Struggle between Globalization and Local Concerns

By Kam-yee Law, Kim-ming Lee and Carol Poon.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social and Community Studies

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Cities are increasingly competing with other places for investment, attention, shoppers and tourists. To address globalization and competition, cities have been “commodified” and turned into “commodities for sale” through city branding, imagineering and place promotion strategies. To do this, the Hong Kong government has formulated “Brand Hong Kong” project in order to construct a new image for Hong Kong and employ incentives to “sell” Hong Kong to attract investors and visitors. According to the Policy Address 2007 by the Chief Executive of Hong Kong government Donald Tsang, the Financial Secretary is assigned to formulate strategies to revitalize ‘Brand Hong Kong’ and step up publicity efforts highlighting Hong Kong as an Asia’s world city. Hong Kong people’s “core values” will be re-searched, re-engineered, and re-vitalized. In fact, Hong Kong has experienced immense challenges from globalization in recent years, needs serious repositioning and creates a new city identity in order to survive against serious challenges. In order to alleviate the problems, effective governance requires a strategic plan, which includes proper visioning or imagineering that combined city making and place making so as to attain both global competitiveness and local approval. In this paper, we attempt to examine the imagineering efforts of the Hong Kong government in response to the challenges, including their understanding to the challenges, their strategic ways to tackle the challenges, and the outcome of their strategies.

Keywords: City Imagineering, Hong Kong, Globalization, Local Concerns, Urban Development

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social and Community Studies, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp.1-12. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 431.106KB).

Dr. Kam-yee Law

Associate Professor, Department of Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Institute of Education, Tai Po, Hong Kong

Law Kam-yee teaches social sciences in the Hong Kong Institute of Education. Before joining the Institute in February 2008, he was associate professor in the Department of Asian & International Studies at City University of Hong Kong, taught East & South East Asian Studies for more than 10 years. He received his PhD in political sociology in 1998, and is interested in the political sociology and the political economy of East Asia, the political sociology of China, the political sociology and the economic sociology of Hong Kong, and the sociology of popular culture. He has published dozens research papers in prestigious journals (e.g. Journal of Contemporary Asia) and book chapters published by well-known publishers (e.g. Oxford University Press). He is author/editor of more than 10 scholarly books, and executive editor of Hong Kong Journal of Social Sciences.

Kim-ming Lee

Lecturer, Division of Social Studies, Community College of City University, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Lee Kim-ming received his MPhil in sociology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong in the 1980s, and has taught social studies at the Community College of City University in Hong Kong since mid–1990s. He has published dozens papers in prestigious journals on economic sociology and urban sociology of Hong Kong.

Dr. Carol Poon

Senior Research Assistant, Department of Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Institute of Education, N.T., Hong Kong

Carol Poon received her PhD in international cultural studies at Tohoku University in Japan in 2009. She had taught Japanese studies in City University of Hong Kong, the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Tohoku University over the past few years, and did research work in Waseda University in 2009–10. She published more than 10 papers in serious academic journals and volumes on sociology in pop culture and identity.