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.
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.