The eventification of place: Urban development and experience consumption in Berlin and New York City

University of Exeter, UK; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA
European Urban and Regional Studies October 2013 vol. 20 no. 4 447-459


”Recent urban and economic development policies put much emphasis on the promotion of experiences. Within the experience economy, the production and consumption of products and places is transformed into “theater.” The organization of international festivals highlights that trend.

However, festivalization has also infiltrated urban and economic development on a much smaller scale and turned into an overall eventification. In addition, producers and marketers of cultural products simultaneously apply this concept to advance their market positions. Hence, eventification provides shared interests for local stakeholders and producers and marketers of cultural products and opportunities to further include the latter in urban growth coalitions.

Doreen Jakob’s paper demonstrates how eventification fosters new relationships between local urban developers and individual artists in Berlin-Wedding and the South Bronx, New York City. It explores the benefits and disadvantages of experience planning through eventification including social exclusion and arts-led revitalization. Ultimately, eventification not only embraces an accelerating logic of ever more experience schemes and thus raises questions about its sustainability, but also features a process in which urban space, itself, is transformed into staged experiences of event consumption.”

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