The European Union has long been seeking holistic models of regional development. The EU-funded BRANDSUS project is focusing on the study of inclusive governance arrangements for sustainable place development (SPD). The project aims to develop an innovative mixed-methods comparative case study between Spain and the Netherlands, examining citizen-led governance models.

The expectation is that the study’s practical application will contribute to a three-pillar approach to sustainable development that encompasses economic growth as well as ensuring social and environmental sustainability, thus providing for positive change.


BRANDSUS uses regional branding as a tool to support liveability and sustainable regional development.

BRANDSUS is an action research project combining scientific research and action in the field of regional marketing.
The project is funded by the EU (H2020, grant 895260)[1].

In addition to building a brand and an identity, regional branding is approached as a participatory process in which various parties work together on the branding and marketing of the region. Together, stakeholders think about the parts of the regional brand that they want to strengthen and market, how different marketing strategies can strengthen the regional brand, how desired target groups can be attracted, and thus how the quality of life and regional development can be strengthened.​

Research elements:

  • Case study: analysis of liveability, regional development and regional branding of the area (document analysis and interviews);
  • Survey (online): local action groups (x3) on regional branding and stakeholder participation;
  • Survey (online): survey among residents and entrepreneurs about their ideas about regional identity and marketing;
  • In-depth interviews: with 15-25 selected participants to explore the regional branding process and;
  • Focus group meetings (x2): Two meetings with 15-25 selected participants, with the aim of reflecting on the region branding process and devising participatory strategies for strengthening the region’s brand.

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