Mega-events like the World Cup and Olympics often present unanticipated challenges for the cities that host them. But, managed well, they can be a force for positive change. Find out more in our selected insights.
Even before the first ball was kicked in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Brazil’s hosting of the event got a bit of a kicking. Yet things could look quite different when the tournament ends. From ‘home advantage’ and a short-term feel good factor to the global showing of the tournament, which importantly, could pave the way for foreign investment. Indeed, our June edition of Global Economy Watch shows a 10% boost to Foreign Direct Investment could translate into an injection of $6.5bn into Brazil’s economy.
Infrastructure investment is helping Brazil to realise its potential
Whatever the outcome for Brazil, this year’s World Cup and readiness for the 2016 Olympics have highlighted the serious challenges mega-events pose for host cities in terms of resources and infrastructure. So what makes a city or a country best placed to host a mega-event? It’s how you play the game explains that cities and regions should first focus on assessing their long-term priorities for development and then bidding on the events that best correlate with those priorities. Ultimately, mega-events can be transformative when planned and financed effectively. And, despite the bad publicity around the World Cup, as a city, Rio has transformed everything from security to transportation to urban regeneration.
Sports aside, and as our new Cities of Opportunity study suggests, cultural appeal, creativity and good old human ingenuity – manifested through technological and artistic innovation, heritage conversation and the embrace of diversity and change – are key to creating successful cities.