Many cities have adopted a ‘city brand’ to appeal to potential investors, visitors and residents. But what makes a city brand successful, and could it work for Newport?
In this report, we set out the case that a “City of Democracy” brand for Newport could not only help achieve the authenticity and inspiration that makes city brands successful, but if followed through with sincerity, could transform democratic life in the city and make Newport a leader in engaging its citizens.
We find that the creation of a Festival of Democracy would give the city a chance to explore and strengthen democratic ideas and processes, making Newport a ‘City of Democracy’ in both name and practice.
Key recommendations of the report include:
A branding strategy for City of Democracy should be agreed with all stakeholders and partners
Measures to support co-op and mutual ownership for established and new local businesses should be implemented
Newport should remain engaged with ongoing devolution discussions with Cardiff Capital Region around fiscal devolution, and to prioritise its digital cluster in growth discussions
Newport should closely track gentrification in the city and support WAG efforts to pass Assets of Community Value legislation, with the aim of identifying such assets
Newport should examine how community hubs can work with Jobcentre Plus, Families First and DWP to deliver labour market interventions, including data-sharing from DWP
Explore incorporating the ‘Newport Story’ into the school curriculum
Use the Citizen’s Panel to trial a range of new, collaborative digital democracy tools
Participate in discussions around electoral reform
Create a ‘Festival of Democracy’, drawing on both historic and modern contexts, generating debate and pioneering real-world uses of new democratic tools
Mark is an experienced policy and research strategist with over 20 years working in partnership with businesses, public bodies, cities and counties to develop successful place-making strategies.
Mark has contributed widely to research and policy developments in the UK with...
Tom manages and delivers projects around place-based policy and devolution, working across both ResPublica’s research and consulting functions. His recent projects include Air Necessities and research for Newport Council’s City of Democracy initiative.
Tom’s work has featured in publications ranging...