Small Towns, Cultural Heritage, … Good and Evil Queens

  • Angela BesanaEmail author
  • Annamaria Esposito
  • Maria Cristina Vannini
Conference paper
Part of the Springer Proceedings in Business and Economics book series (SPBE)


Small towns are usually affected by a low growth rate, as they cope with economic decline owing to ageing societies, depopulation, depleting tax base, businesses moving away, low community spirit and indolent governance [Jamieson (ISC Cultural Tourism 1993 – International Scientific Symposium (10th General Assembly Sri Lanka). ICOMOS, 1993)]. In the contemporary and ageing society, small towns remain the cradle of young generations who are flocking to metropolis and the uncomfortable bed of old generations who are negatively affected by transport and health issues. Food traditions, folklore and craft industries may be leading businesses but community memory is sometimes failing and citizens do not always and fully hope in resurgence thanks to micro-businesses of intangible culture, which is considered as a fragile and vulnerable asset [Mallik et al. (ACM J Comput Cult Herit 4, 2011)]. Are there governance poles? Good Queens are governance with first-best solutions as regards multi-stakeholders’ engagement and resources (also taking into account the merger opportunity); focus on heritage or creativity as perfect symbiosis with communities, tourists and any other stakeholders; place marketing and branding in order to optimize flows without over-crowding [Baker (Destination branding for small cities. The essentials for successful place and branding. Creative Leap Books, 2007)]. Evil Queens are governance with opposite solutions as regards the above-mentioned issues. The aim of the paper is to classify a sample of Italian small towns for their governance of heritage and creativity (contemporary arts here included), with focus on tourists’ flows, community engagement, public and private efforts (and spending) for culture and creativity, and marketing and branding as regards both heritage and creativity. Between Good and Evil Queens, Half-good Queens can play the Prima Donna Role.


Small towns Marketing Branding Creativity 

JEL Classification

L32 M31 Z1 Z3 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Angela Besana
    • 1
    Email author
  • Annamaria Esposito
    • 1
  • Maria Cristina Vannini
    • 1
  1. 1.IULM UniversityMilanItaly

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