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Mega-Events and Social ChangeSpectacle, Legacy and Public Culture$
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Maurice Roche

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781526117083

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526117083.001.0001

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Mega-events and urban development: Olympics and legacies

Mega-events and urban development: Olympics and legacies

(p.151) 5 Mega-events and urban development: Olympics and legacies
Mega-Events and Social Change

Maurice Roche

Manchester University Press

This chapter explores the ‘material embedding’ of mega-event spectacles in the legacies they leave in host cities which can be of both a negative and positive kind, and consist of the creation of new place and space legacies. These themes are illustrated with reference to the modern Olympics, and particularly in the contemporary period. The chapter’s main focus is on Olympic mega-events as urban ‘place-makers’. That is they often involve new constructions, on the one hand of sports and related event facilities complexes, and on the other hand of community-related developments in housing and places of employment. Since the turn of the millennium they are now effectively required by the IOC bidding system to leave such legacies. The chapter explore such legacies in some detail in the influential case of the Sydney 2000 Olympic project which, in some respects, was understood to represent a ‘model’ for subsequent Olympic cities. The case of the Sydney Olympics is seen to show how mega-events can simultaneously be urban ‘space-makers’ as well as ‘place-makers’. Since Sydney mega-events have often been notably associated with strategically important values and policies of both ‘greening’ and humanising modern urbanisation through the provision of open and green spaces in urban centres.

Keywords:   Mega-events, ‘material embedding’, spectacles, Olympics, urban legacies, place-makers, space-makers, Sydney 2000 Olympic project

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