Urban-proximate nature as a resource for events and festivals: a SWOT analysis

This source preferred by Dorothy Fox

Authors: Fox, D.

Start date: 21 August 2012

Events and festivals are a key sector of the leisure industry and throughout history have interacted in a close relationship with the natural environment. Urban-proximate nature is utilised considerably, particularly for outdoor events. If there is to be a successful global transition to a green economy, a more strategic approach to using natural capital must be developed. A traditional business approach is to undertake a ‘SWOT' analysis and this strategy is adopted here as a first step. In this conceptual study, desk research using secondary data from academic, industry and environmental sources was undertaken to produce an analysis of urban-proximate nature in relation to the events and festival sector.

I contend that the ‘Strength’ of natural capital in these areas, is its sheer abundance, its ‘Weakness’, is its vulnerability, the ‘Opportunities’ it offers is as a resource and it acts as a ‘Threat’ through its unpredictability.

Urban-proximate nature is abundant throughout the world and is available in many forms, both aquatic, land-based and in the sky above. These various forms provide a unique space for outdoor events and festivals. However, these areas are vulnerable to environmental degradation and ultimately loss through urban expansion. A green economy needs to ensure that events are environmentally sustainable and that the natural resources on which they depend are not over exploited. Urban-proximate nature acts not only as a venue, but also provides resources for events held both indoors and out. It provides materials for exhibits as well as consumption. Finally, the unpredictability of nature, particularly, of course, the weather, needs to be considered.

The paper concludes by making recommendations for further research with regard to the development of a green economy in urban proximate areas in respect of events and festivals.

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