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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, glocalisation and urban legacy: London as an event city and the 2012 Olympics

Mega-events, glocalisation and urban legacy: London as an event city and the 2012 Olympics

(p.246) 8 Mega-events, glocalisation and urban legacy: London as an event city and the 2012 Olympics
Mega-Events and Social Change

Maurice Roche

Manchester University Press

Mega-events exemplify the ‘glocalisation’ involved in global processes being embodied in local, urban contexts. This chapter explores this through the particular lens of mega-events staged in London and their urban legacies. London is understood as being both a Western and European world regional city as well as being a national capital. The chapter show how London has been physically marked and culturally influenced by a number of mega-events since the mid-19thC, particularly Expos and Expo-type events. They left long-term urban legacies, most notably in the cases of the ‘Albertopolis’ and Southbank cultural quarters. The chapter uses some of these introductory and historical themes to inform a detailed look into the case of the London 2012 Olympics and its various social and economic legacies. It shows the importance for the London model of mega-event legacy-making, of the construction of a major new urban park for social and environmental reasons. On the basis of a review of developments in the short- to medium-term post-Olympic period the chapter concludes that event planners’ hopes that the Olympic park can operate as a hub and catalyst also for economic and employment development, particularly in the cultural and creative industries, are credible.

Keywords:   mega-events, ‘glocalisation’, London, Expos, London 2012 Olympics, urban legacies, Olympic park, cultural and creative industries

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