Reconstructing urban image through cultural flagship events: The case of Bat-Yam

Efrat Eizenberg, Nir Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Recent years have seen a broad range of towns and cities investing major efforts in devising culture-led urban strategies. These strategies have often been explained against the backdrop of economic neoliberalization that forced municipal administrations to re-invent the local in order to stimulate urban development by attracting new residents, tourists and investors alike. In this context, scholarship has identified urban festivals and other flagship events as major drivers of urban regeneration. Considerably less attention has been paid to the role of festivals in the eradication of long-conceived territorial stigmas. Using the case of Bat-Yam, this paper examines how an international festival has sought to re-construct a defamed mid-sized city's image. Specifically, we argue that the city-sponsored International Biennale of Landscape Urbanism, which was part of a broader culture-led urban strategy, deployed creative means to breathe new meanings into some of its most entrenched stigmatized attributes, including urban density and marginal(ized) cultural practices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-62
Number of pages9
Issue numberPA
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


  • Culture-led strategy
  • Festival
  • Flagship events
  • Israel
  • Public space
  • Territorial stigma


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