Sustaining the local identity

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Transnational processes such as globalization make small urban areas such as rural municipalities see their identity becoming undermined. Internationally, rural municipalities are searching for ways to sustain and strengthen their local identities. An example of this is the implementation of Cittaslow. Cittaslow provides an explicit agenda of local distinctiveness and urban development and can be described as a model for (local) governance; a movement considering social urban life, aiming at local sustainability. This research analyses practices of identity sustainment focusing on the implementation of Cittaslow, the steps taken by municipalities, and the argumentation behind these choices. This (qualitative) research is carried out in the form of a case study and includes some elements from grounded theory, contributing to the explorative and in-depth nature of this study. The author argues that this case study indicates that Cittaslow implementation has a relation to both raising awareness of local identity and framing this local identity. The answer to the main research question can therefore now be summarized in two points: • Cittaslow implementation in Dutch rural municipalities improves the awareness of citizens for their local identity; • Cittaslow implementation in Dutch rural municipalities provides a framework to address this local identity and activities regarding it.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen