Mega-events, community stakeholders and legacy: London 2012.
Authors: Sadd, D.
Conference: Bournemouth University; School of TourismAbstract:
This study highlights the treatment of the smaller stakeholders for whom the social legacy impacts are potentially the greatest within mega-event planning. The aim of this research is to develop a framework of urban regeneration legacy associated with the hosting of mega-events where the local community are key stakeholders, and where they can gain long-term positive social legacies. Mega-events, such as the Olympic Games, are widely held to bring a variety of positive social benefits through the process of urban regeneration. This research is built around the development of a conceptual framework of social legacy impacts arising from the urban regeneration planned through hosting the Olympic Games. Social legacy impacts, also referred to as soft impacts, are those which are intangible and affect individuals within their everyday lives in the longer term. This research is concerned with the social legacy impacts of The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games on the ‘community’ (being defined as those, who have either lived, worked or have some social connection with the area within the proposed Olympic Park site) in the Lower Lea Valley site in east London, and how they have or have not been recognised as stakeholders. A stakeholder being an individual or group who will be affected by the actions, decisions or policies of the Games organisers, within the planning of the Games.
Key informant interviews have been undertaken with individuals who have had a stake in the planning of the Barcelona Games of 1992, Sydney Games of 2000 and the planning of the London 2012 Games. Each interview involved a semi-structured conversation, encouraging the interviewees to recount their experiences of the planning of these mega-events from the perspectives of the communities involved and the social legacy planning. Interviews were analysed thematically. The main themes to emerge focus on legacy identification, community identification, the importance of regeneration for the existing community, the need to identify power relationships and the need for knowledge transfer and experience. The study shows that, for some ‘communities’, the opportunity to gain positive social benefits are too late as they themselves have already been relocated. The study has developed the Olympic Legacy Management Stakeholder framework to help communities to become more active as stakeholders within future mega-event planning through, amongst other things, recognising the different power relationships that exist.
Preferred by: Debbie Sadd