Bart Lootsma on Innsbruck, City Branding and "Geographical Urbanism"

In the now-globalized battle to attract tourists and retain citizens, cities have had to get increasingly creative, often branding themselves to highlight their unique histories or most striking physical characteristics. However, this branding rarely takes account of the complexities underlying every city: the people that live there, the political background, and of course, the peculiarities of the geographical landscape which the city sits on.

With his cosmopolitan career taking him from the low-lying cities of The Netherlands to the Alpine city of Innsbruck and to cities around the world Bart Lootsma, the architectural historian and theorist responsible for critically-acclaimed books such as SuperDutch, has been well-placed to see the effects of landscape and globalization on the individual character of places. In this extensive interview, originally titled "Beyond Branding" and published in MONU Magazine's "Geographical Urbanism" issue from April 2014, Bernd Upmeyer speaks to Lootsma about his adopted hometown of Innsbruck, and the role that geography, marketing and the collision of the two play on the identity of a city.

Sight-Seeing Tyrol, 2011. Image © Monika Hoefler Design by AllesWirdGut in which all cables that spoiled the view of the Nordkette from the Maria-Theresien-Straße in the city centre of Innsbruck were carefully removed. Image © AllesWirdGut Huis ten Bosch in Sasebo, Nagasaki, Japan. Image © Bart Lootsma Hallstatt in the Salzkammergut, Austria. Image © Bart Lootsma + 16

Vocational School Embelgasse / AllesWirdGut Architektur

© AllesWirdGut © AllesWirdGut © AllesWirdGut © AllesWirdGut + 17