Green cities and social media: Interesting insights from a new study

Stakeholder engagement in green place branding: A focus on user‐generated content

by Diletta Acuti and co-authors from the University of Florence, published in Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management

Abstract
The purpose of this research is to investigate how the green image of a city can affect
potential visitors’ attitude toward the city in the context of user‐generated content.
The study adopts a 2 × 2 experimental design in which the greenness of the city
image and the social distance between the users and the authors of social media content
are examined. The results demonstrate that green image has a significant effect
on attitudes toward cities. Moreover, the effects of social media content vary according
to the perceived social distance between the author of the post and potential visitors.
This study contributes to the literature by assessing the role that social media
content plays in place branding and communication. Furthermore, it provides relevant
insights on how institutions should enhance the sustainable resources of cities with
their environmental policy and encourage the generation of content from various
stakeholders to contribute to the development of a city’s image.