Providing adequate transportation, utilities, clean water, and sanitation for thousands of athletes and millions of spectators at a mega-event like the FIFA World CupTM or the Olympics is no mean task. But what becomes of that supporting infrastructure after the athletes and spectators have gone home?
How a government body — national, regional or municipal — plans for the legacy of supporting infrastructure can have a ripple effect on the development of a region for decades to come, positive or negative. While the eyes of the world are on the events, athletes, and facilities for a few weeks during a mega-event, the transformative effect of well-thought-out supporting infrastructure has long-lasting economic, demographic, and social implications for the entire region.
In much of the world, hosting events like the Olympics, the Commonwealth Games, and the World Cup are considered part of the process of local and regional long-term development. Ultimately, residents and local businesses in cities hosting mega-events benefit over the long term when city planners and regional leaders create and upgrade supporting infrastructure in keeping with long-range plans already in place for the region. The mega-event serves as a catalyst not only for accelerating construction but also for securing sometimes elusive funding.