Wasted? Managing decline and marketing difference in third tier cities

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Third-tier cities are neglected in the research literature. Global and second-tier cities provide the positive, proactive applications of city imaging and creative industries strategies. However, small cities – particularly those who reached their height and notoriety through the industrial revolution – reveal few strategies for stability, let alone growth. This study investigates an unusual third-tier city: Oshawa in Ontario Canada. Known as the home of General Motors, its recent economic and social development has been tethered to the arrival of a new institution of higher education: the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. Yet this article confirms that simply opening a university is not enough to commence regeneration or renewal, particularly if an institution is imposed on unwilling residents. Therefore, an alternative strategy – involving geosocial networking – offers a way for local businesses and organizations to attract customers and provide a digital medication to analogue injustice and decay.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-33
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Urban and Regional Analysis
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • City imaging
  • Creative industries
  • Geosocial networking
  • Regeneration
  • Third-tier cities


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