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Between Discourse and Reality: The Un-Sustainability of Mega-Event Planning

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Author(s): Christopher Gaffney

Journal: Sustainability
ISSN 2071-1050

Volume: 5;
Issue: 9;
Start page: 3926;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: sustainability | discourse | sports-mega events | urban planning | Rio de Janeiro

ABSTRACT
The zero-sum nature of mega-event hosting encourages cities to escalate investment with an eye towards convincing event rights holders that a positive outcome will result. The discursive frameworks of “legacy” and “sustainability”, the global competition to attract events and the compressed event horizon make for mega-event preparation regimes that may seriously compromise long-term urban planning agendas in mega-event hosts. By examining the sustainable urban planning literature, the discursive frameworks of sustainability in the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the discursive framing of the Rio 2016 bid, this paper will examine the Olympic Golf project being implemented in Rio de Janeiro. Through this case study the paper argues that unless mega-event rights holders change their candidacy and selection processes, these events will inevitably be detrimental to their hosts.
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