Veckans olympiska Routledge-tema: Olympic Cities

Routledge har skapat en olympisk temasida där man samlar artiklar och böcker ut förlagets omfattande idrottsforskningsutgivning kring ett visst tema.

Topic of the week: Olympic Cities

“Once an Olympic City”, declared IOC President Jacques Rogge in 2007, “always an Olympic City”. It was a challenging statement, but had an important kernel of truth. Staging the Olympics, especially the Summer Games, confers membership of an elite group to which many cities aspire and which few holders have ever seriously regretted.

It was a status that results from the decision made in the 1890s to move the modern Games to a different city with the passage of each four-year Olympiad rather than follow classical precedent and stage the event at a permanent location. Historical research shows the importance but endless complexity of the relationships between the IOC and successive host cities that resulted. The early Games were small affairs that used existing or temporary facilities, but over time increasing scale and costs (mostly borne by the host cities) led the major parties to seek new and mutually-beneficial formulae for staging Olympics. London 2012 exemplifies the latest approach, seeking from the outset to plan for an economic, social and environmental ‘legacy’ for the host city and society.

It is unlikely to be the final word in the constantly renegotiated relationships between the IOC and its host cities. The Olympics have a surprising ability to absorb change. Greater inclusiveness in nomination of cities, especially from the Middle East and Africa, will add qualitatively different agendas, particularly with regard to urban development and to the Olympics’ integral cultural dimension. Acceptance of the longer-time scale required for legacy planning will highlight the need for better quality data and more self-critical and reliably comparative bases for assessing legacy. Longitudinal research is needed to follow the unpredictable paths of negative as well as positive outcomes. These and related issues will continue to exercise those interested in Olympic Cities for the foreseeable future.

Featured articles

Seeing Olympic effects through the eyes of marginally housed youth: changing places and the gentrification of East London
Jacqueline Kennelly and Paul Watt

Securing and sustaining the Olympic city: reconfiguring London for 2012 and beyond
Steve Pan

London’s Olympic waterscape: capturing transition
Michael Anton, Bradley L. Garrett, Alison Hess, Ellie Miles & Terri Moreau

Residents’ Perceptions of Environmental and Security Issues at the 2012 London Olympic Games
Maria Konstantaki & Eugenia Wickens

A brief historical review of Olympic urbanization
Hanwen Liao and Adrian Pitts

Athens’ Post-Olympic Aspirations and the Extent of their Realization
Penelope Kissoudi

Blame it on Rio: isomorphism, environmental protection and sustainability in the Olympic Movement
Caitlin Pentifallo and Rob VanWynsberghe

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