Must Read! – “Transportation Planning for Mega Events: a Model of Urban Change”

Kassens, E. (2009). Transportation Planning for Mega Events: a Model of Urban Change. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge MA.

“Without doubt, a mega event requires cities to upgrade their transportation system. Despite the current belief, mega events are not pure catalyst. Instead, mega-event owners have influenced cities in their transport-planning decisions and created transport legacies… I argue, implementations and planning have to be considered in a long-term perspective for residents, and no investment can be simply justified as being ‘good for the Olympics.'”

Mega events are powerful global agents that have power in a local setting, because it forces cities to compete certain requirements in order to be designated as the host place. “The ways in which the individual cities try to stage the event so as to satisfy these requirements essentially make the cities adopt a specific set of transportation improvements.” The article found that over time the mega event host cities became more knowledgeable about handling Olympic passenger travel learning from previous hosts’ mistakes and successes. It also concludes that the more the (IOC) International Olympic Committee doubted a city’s ability to handle transportation demands, the more requirements they had to meet  If the city does gain an advantage to host the event, then there has to be long term planning to improve their transportation system.


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