Place Branding: The Ghent State-of-Mind

  • What sets us apart from other cities? What makes Ghent ‘Ghentian’?

    View Ghent as a free city.
    Creativity, individuality and rebellion reign supreme. We like to keep things casual, and we make sure there’s room for everyone to do things their own way. But, in doing so, we don’t lose sight of each other. On the contrary. Here, we take care of one another.

    In Ghent, everyone gets to be rebellious.
    Here, we’re bold enough to plot our own course.

    This brand essence doesn’t just define what Ghent is, today. It’s also something we strive for in the future.

The brand values

This brand essence is defined by 3 core brand values. When starting a new project in Ghent, check out whether it embraces these values. In this way, you can decide for yourself if your idea or project is a good fit for our city and not simply something that could take place in any other city.

  • Ghent is a city of the people, a city of the streets. Everything comes together here. In Ghent, we look each other in the eye and take care of each other. We stay ourselves and are open to others.

  • Ghent is a city of noose-bearers (stroppendragers) and contrarians. Here, there’s room to be yourself and to do your own thing. Butting heads is encouraged – that’s when we thrive. Is it a bit kooky? Even better! 

  • Ghent is a city of explorers and pioneers. We venture off the beaten track if we think that's the way to go. In Ghent, we are not afraid to fail. After all, we can only make the world a better place by trying

Examples from Ghent

Activities or ideas that convey the Ghent brand values are called on-brand. Things like initiatives by citizens, entrepreneurs, or institutions. But also, projects run by the City exclusively or in cooperation with partners.

We can’t find a name for what we do? Easy. We invent one.

Below, you will find a selection of the many examples that showcase the Ghent mentality, divided up by topic.

  • Ghent’s public space and cultural life are inextricably tied together

    • 123 Piano: public pianos free-to-play for all
    • The Ghent festivalfree ten-day international popular festival throughout the entire city
    • Temporary use: vacant lots & abandoned buildings become exciting, experimental new venues
  • The Ghent way of creating opportunities for people who are struggling

  • Ghent’s way of looking at waste and seeing nothing but potential

  • Monumental and unconventional architecture right in the middle of a historic city

    • De Krooka major site for knowledge, culture & innovation
    • Wintercircuswill be the location for tech start-ups and scale-ups in the centre of Ghent
    • City pavilionthe modern and hotly debated covered meeting hall in the centre of town