Spatial Imaginaries and Tech Cities: Place-branding East London's digital economy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • London College of Communication
  • Kagisha


We explore place branding as an economic development strategy for technology clusters, using London's 'Tech City' initiative as a case study. We site place branding in a larger family of policies that develop spatial imaginaries and specify affordances and constraints on place brands and brand-led strategies. Using mixed methods over a long timeframe, we analyse Tech City's emergence and the overlapping, competing narratives that preceded and succeeded it, highlighting day-to-day challenges and more basic tensions. While a strong brand has developed, we cast doubt on claims that policy has had a catalytic effect, at least in the ways originally intended.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)409-432
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Economic Geography
Issue number2
Early online date8 May 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019


  • Clusters, entrepreneurship, ICT, local economic development, place branding, Tech City