The impact of sport mega events on cities and societies

Miss Laura Brown1

1Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom


The practise of sport and exercise has historic and social importance grounded in ancient Greek civilisation. The continued practise of sport and exercise through the ages, and its existing role in contemporary society, highlights the cultural significance of sport and exercise in modern contexts. Sport does not require infrastructure to take place, yet sports grounds and buildings have increasingly achieved monumental status, playing a major role in the cultural heritage of cities. Stadium architecture has its own distinctive typology, expressing the significance of sport and the stadium to society, and providing an environment in which people can gather to share common values. In recent decades a shift in the calibre and construction of stadia has been observed, in particular, in stadia constructed for sport mega events (SME). The new construction and revitalisation of venues in a city preparing to host a SME results in long term impact on the urban fabric, with the potential to leverage broad-reaching benefits for the community. This paper examines the role of sport infrastructure in our cities and societies. Identifying, in the case of the largest SME in the World, the Summer Olympic Games, the long-term impacts of sport infrastructure on cities, culture and society.


Qualifications: BTEC Diploma in Art & Design (Photography), BSc (Hons) Sport & Exercise Development, BA (Hons) Architecture, MArch in Architecture, PhD (Viva Voce Examination in April 2019) ‘The urban & architectural legacies of the European Summer Olympic Games 1948-2012’.

Current Role: Vice Chancellor’s Fellow, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Teaching: Undergraduate Architecture & Interior Architecture; Studio Design Projects; History & Theory; Cultural Contexts; Architectural Communications. Research Interests: Olympic Games, Sport Mega Events, Architectural Quality, Urban Design, Social, Cultural, and Health Impacts & Benefits of Environments, Cultural Heritage, Physical Activity Participation, Space & Place.

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