We have just added a new presentation that was delivered by Prof. Gavin Poynter in Barcelona recently entitled Mega Events and the Urban Economy: What can Olympic Cities Learn from Each Other?
Cities have sought to host sports mega events to catalyse urban development and renewal. In several cities urban transformation was accelerated and social tensions intensified. This paper argues that addressing these tensions creatively requires host cities to focus on public interventions aimed at reducing social inequality. Host cities may learn much from each other about the types of interventions that promote the creation of integrated rather than fragmented communities. ‘London 2012’ is used to exemplify the need to:
- re-conceptualise the main beneficiaries of the re-valorisation of the urban landscapes that arise from renewal – shifting the balance of the value accrued from those who already have it to those who need it;
- re-think the consumption-led economic model that has informed urban development in many cities in recent times;
- adopt new, innovative ways to secure the engagement of socially-disadvantaged communities to align ‘city-building’ with the humane values of ‘Olympism’.