Transformations in identity, governance and planning: The case of the small city

Katie James, Michelle Thompson-Fawcett, Carsten Jahn Hansen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Cities that have transformed in response to socio-economic crises are a focus of theorists interested in identifying why changes are triggered and how they are played out. Stories of success add to knowledge of ‘fruitful’ city functioning. This paper examines how transformations in urban governance and planning can unfold in smaller cities by scrutinising the New Zealand city of Invercargill. The city underwent metamorphosis from a faded town with a negative image to one that has a new path despite isolation and small population. Leadership, networking and innovation have been key factors. The paper unveils how development fortunes on the global periphery can be reshaped by strong place leadership, revised connections between different tiers of policy making, and reframed processes of governance and planning.
Original languageEnglish
JournalUrban Studies
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1162-1177
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - May 2016

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