LONDON — Cities in Europe are increasingly vying for major international entertainment or sporting events as a way to expedite development and investment that will provide an economic boost lasting far beyond the actual events, according to a new report from the Urban Land Institute (ULI), a global research and education institute dedicated to responsible land use and innovative community building.
Urban Investment Opportunities of Global Events examines the experience of European cities that have already hosted international events, are preparing to host such events, or are considering whether such events can be effective for their own development. The case studies: Barcelona (Summer Olympics 1992), Paris (FIFA World Cup 1998), Lisbon (EXPO 1998), Turin (Winter Olympics 2006), London (Summer Olympics 2012), Glasgow (Commonwealth Games 2014), Milan (EXPO 2015), and Amsterdam (Summer Olympics bid, 2028). The report was published by ULI Europe, which serves ULI’s members throughout Europe.
Urban Investment Opportunities is based on the conclusions of a workshop sponsored earlier this year by ULI’s Urban Investment Network, established by the Institute’s operations in Europe. The network, developed in collaboration with leading European cities, institutions and private sector organizations, aims to foster an ongoing dialogue between public- and private- sector leaders on ways to bridge investment gaps and overcome urban development challenges. The purpose of the workshop was to explore the conditions under which international events can catalyze public and private investment in cities, and whether such events are relevant in the current economic environment as a means to attract investment into Europe’s cities.
The report points to multiple advantages gained by the city and nation hosting an international event:
“Hosting international events can act as a catalyst or stimulus to shape and develop an urban investment market for several business cycles once an event has been awarded to a city,” the report says. “This means that almost all events will have an impact on urban land and property markets, infrastructure, planning and land use. In many cases these impacts will be direct and immediate, but in other cases they will be indirect and will take place over time as business cycles play and out and development cycles work through available sites to expand market geographies.”
The report points out that few cities are able to fully maximize the longer-term benefits of hosting a major event because stimulus effects may stretch over several business cycles, and have uneven geographic benefits related to proximity of neighborhoods to the infrastructure related to the event. “A key variable is the capability of the actors and managers in securing the optimum impact through focused and careful alignment of the event and its amenities with the long-term development requirements of the city.”
Urban Investment Opportunities of Global Events includes ten principles for using global events to attract urban investment:
About the Urban Land Institute
The Urban Land Institute is a global nonprofit education and research institute supported by its members. Its mission is to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. Established in 1936, the Institute has nearly 30,000 members representing all aspects of land use and development disciplines, including more than 2,300 members in Western and Eastern Europe.
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