In this paper we aim to shed light on the dynamics of regional identity construction and deconstruction. We will argue that four forms of identity can be identified that are linked through various processes of change. To that end, we will theoretically conceptualise 'identity' by discussing historical and current scholarly debates on identity in a variety of scientific disciplines. Then, we will argue that the mutual contradiction of the current theories is a paradox if seen from the angle of regional identity construction and deconstruction. Building upon elements from the various theoretical approaches, we propose a heuristic model describing the dynamics of identity construction and deconstruction, which will be explored by means of the example of the green heart region, a spatial planning concept in western holland.