Many cities are wondering: how will the city buzz again? What is needed to put the city on the map for businesses, (new) inhabitants or visitors? Online shopping, the economic crisis and demographic changes cause empty shops and high rents. As well as less choice, people feel less attracted to the city. The main reason for this is that the city no longer meets people’s wishes. To stay up to date, the city must keep up with current developments, after all, it has always done so. Below are 5 characteristics that today’s city needs to buzz again.
Nowadays, the city is associated with shopping, but that hasn’t always been the case. The city has evolved over the years to meet the needs of people. It all started with safety. The city walls protected the inhabitants from bandits and outlaws. Later on, during the industrial revolution, many agricultural workers were looking for work and this was offered by the city-based factories.
Now that there are more practical places to buy products, such as shopping centres and the Internet, the role of the city is changing. As has been the case for centuries, the city must once again be flexible, and offer what people want.
Now, in 2021, we are living in an experience economy. The trend shows what people want: to be entertained in everything that they do. And the city can respond perfectly to this. Experience is something that we perceive with all of our senses: hearing, smell, touch, and taste. Experience is an attraction. In terms of selling products, consuming food and drinks and gathering information, everything can be combined with experience. The consumer is actively looking for this and is also prepared to invest more time and money in order to experience it. The city is no longer just a practical place to live, work or buy something, but a destination to experience.
There are many cities in the Netherlands, which is why a city must make its mark. A distinction can be made by taking full advantage of the city’s DNA. What are the city’s origins? What developments has it experienced (now or in the past)? If the DNA is clear, the city’s image can be built up. With the right marketing strategies and by building up suitable experiences, people will get an idea of the city. A good image creates pride among its inhabitants and the businesses established in the city. It also arouses curiosity in people from outside the city. This attracts visitors. A unique city is important to stay ahead of the competition, to raise the city’s profile and generate pride.
As mentioned above, the city has been a place with many roles; every building, street or square has its own story. For a long time this has had no value, but now that consumers are looking for unique experiences, this can be particularly relevant. With the help of storytelling, the city’s story can be told to visitors and inhabitants. Storytelling creates a connection and a meaning, and is therefore a good tool to use when it comes to creating an experience.
The city’s DNA must be evident in what the city has to offer. Coherence must be created so that the city’s story is reflected everywhere. This requires the cooperation of entrepreneurs. A good relationship between businesses (large and small) creates space for creativity and initiatives. With different types of expertise they can join forces and combine hospitality, retail, service, and entertainment. Together, entrepreneurs can devote themselves to new experiences and events, all to put their business in the spotlight. They make the city what it is and therefor it is necessary to create good cohesion. Organizations’ and business associations must receive support in order to encourage these alliances.
Today’s city is flexible and unique, it must enable visitors and inhabitants to experience the city’s story and ensure that businesses can work well together to achieve this!
Are you intrigued how we made Roermond city centre buzz, even during these difficult times? Read more about the unique and Interactive Magic Route here!
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