Series 14 Vol 3 Special Issue (2020)
Articoli

Bologna City Branding

Alessandra Bonazzi
Dipartimento di Filosofia e Comunicazione (FILCOM), Università degli Studi di Bologna

Published 2021-06-21

Keywords

  • Landscape of Quarantine,
  • urban space,
  • city branding

Abstract

The purpose of the article was to analyze the standardized city branding process that since 2014 has restructured the public space of Bologna and redefined the emotional territory of its citizens through the active remodeling or branding of urban policies. As is known, Bologna’s global brand is based on the generative logo City of Food is Bologna (Bonazzi, Frixa 2019), which has re-generated the spaces of consumption by translating them according to the terms of contemporary documedial capital (Ferraris 2020; Semi 2015). However, the writing of this article has coincided with the latest stages of the Quarantine imposed by Covid-19 and the imminent start of so-called Phase 2. The unprecedented event of the pandemic has temporarily suspended the functioning of the current City of Food by placing the atmosphere of euphoric consumption in quarantine. In other words, a Landscape of Quarantine has critically overlapped that of the City of Food and revealed its fragility and crisis – which, however, was already made evident by the voracity with which branding had consumed its ethical potential (Arvidsson 2007). On the threshold of the quarantine, and waiting to understand the fate of the Bologna branding, the whole process has therefore been analyzed in the light of Jean Baudrillard’s analytical categories relating to the “fourth, the fractal (or viral, or radiant) stage of value” (Baudrillard 2001a) and within the temporal torsion that is typical of the unexpected interference of any crisis.