Several significant societal and economic shifts threaten the sustainability of rural places. More rural communities and municipalities have started to employ place branding to attract residents and businesses and to maintain the service level required to sustain their communities. This study aims to better understand the potential benefits of place branding for the sustainability of rural communities. An exploratory, qualitative research design using case studies from rural places in Denmark was applied. The findings suggest that the level of institutionalization of the place branding approach and the scope of actor engagement influence the type and strength of social sustainability outcomes. Future research should broaden the scope to include both environmental and economic sustainability dimensions. Furthermore, the impact of place branding on sustainability in other spatial contexts, such as cities or countries, should be investigated.
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- place branding
- Rural places
- sustainable communities