Whilst mega-events often highlight urban development they also punctuate and accelerate longer term urban regeneration and growth. Despite their high cost and risk (e.g. security) – financial, social environmental – cities and increasingly regions, look to major events and related infrastructure to lever inward investment, improve image and raise citizen morale, and generate a legacy of facilities, improved transport and international publicity and branding, in order to support economic development and growth. This is apparent in larger, developed cities (e.g. Olympics) where city extensions are often developed (e.g. Orestadt, Copenhagen; Forum/@22, Barcelona; Shanghai EXPO); in small and medium sized cities-regions and peripheral areas, as well as regionally distributed events (e.g. World Cups – S.Africa 2010, Brazil 2014, Russia 2018).
The aim of the research network is to situate mega-event led regeneration within regional studies and both to theorise the concept and transfer accumulating knowledge and develop methods of planning, impact evaluation and measurement of their effects over time. The network will also compare and contrast the ambitions and impacts of mega-events as regards to previous well assessed events (Barcelona 1992, Glasgow 1990 for example) and identify the different current patterns addressing such perspectives of regeneration and regional development (e.g. traditional challenges of deindustrialisation recovery for crisis cities / territories; desire to foster and sustain the growth strategy of a world city etc).