IOC Library

Transportation planning for mega events : a model of urban change

Kassens, Eva ; Potenske, Karen R. (Dir.)

Thèse de doctorat : IOC Library, 2009.

My study is about opportunities for revolutionary developments in urban transport. Often, we think of transport and urban development as an evolutionary process, yet there exist a few opportunities for cities to revolutionize their transport system within a short timeframe of only 10 years. Prime examples for such opportunities are mega events. Based on my hypothesis that mega event owners... Mehr

Zum persönliche Liste hinzufügen
    Summary
    My study is about opportunities for revolutionary developments in urban transport. Often, we think of transport and urban development as an evolutionary process, yet there exist a few opportunities for cities to revolutionize their transport system within a short timeframe of only 10 years. Prime examples for such opportunities are mega events. Based on my hypothesis that mega event owners exercise a decisive influence on urban and transport planning through the requirements they impose on cities, the challenge inherent to leveraging the mega event opportunity is the alignment of transport provisions for staging a world-class event with the metropolitan vision by using the mega event as a tool for desirable change. In my study I examine the dynamics of the urban-change process in the run-up to mega events by analyzing the potential clash between the event owner's requirements and the development of transport strategies pursued by four cities, which have hosted the largest mega event of all - the Summer Olympic Games. The Olympic cities in my research are Barcelona (1992), Atlanta (1996), Sydney (2000), and Athens (2004). I comparatively analyze the extent to which each city did or did not align the planning of preparations for the mega event with the metropolitan strategies for long-term urban and transport development. Through field observations, document analysis, and interviews, I identify the influences the International Olympic Committee (IOC) brings to the transport planning process of metropolises, analyze the Olympic impacts, and finally propose a causal model linking IOC influences and urban transport outcomes. I find that the influence of IOC produces a similar pattern of urban and transport change. I explain further why and under what conditions the event requirements can function as catalysts for transport investments, integration of transport systems, upgrades of institutional coordination, and management capacities. If planned effectively, event transport strategies can bring significant long-term enhancement in regional mobility. Existing theories of urban development do not fully capture the interdependencies among factors operating before, during and after mega events. My research suggests that the IOC is a powerful agent in local urban and transport plannning that guides cities towards similar urban change in the run-up to the Olympics. To leverage mega event opportunities for transport, I provide policy recommendations on the alignment of event transport requirements and metropolitan strategy. Given the high investment costs and associated risks, city governments should catalyze their endeavors for improved metropolitan transport through the city's bid that can ultimately enhance metropolitan transport for users on a daily basis.