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Principles of Sustainable Urban Development in the Bidding Process for Olympic Games

Masterarbeit 2009 146 Seiten




List of Figures and Tables

1.1 Aim and purpose of the thesis
1.2 Structure of the thesis


2.1 Mega Events
2.2 Factors of mega-events
2.3 Mega Sports Events
2.3.1 Phases of Mega Sports Events
2.3.2 Bidding
2.3.3 Impacts of Mega Sports Events
2.4 Physical Impact: Mega sports event Infrastructure
2.5 Sustainable Urban Development
2.6 Sustainable Urban Development in the context of a mega sports event
2.7 Definitions and Limitations



4 Olympic Games Characteristics
4.1 History of the Olympic Games
4.2 The Olympic Movement
4.3 Olympic Games Factors
4.4 Olympic Games Phases

5 Olympic Urban Development
5.1 Definition
5.1.1 Olympic Infrastructure
5.1.2 Urban Infrastructure
5.1.3 Modelling an Olympic City
5.2 History of Olympic Urban Development
5.3 Decisions determining Olympic Urban Development
5.3.1 Local distribution of Olympic Infrastructure
5.3.2 Funding Model
5.3.3 Expenditure on Olympic Infrastructure
5.3.4 Use of existing Olympic Infrastructure
5.4 Opportunities and Threats
5.4.1 Built environment
5.4.2 Natural Environment
5.4.3 Economic Environment
5.4.4 Social Environment
5.4.5 Summary

6 Intermediate Result: Defining Principles of Sustainable Urban Development for Planning Olympic Infrastructure
6.1 Principles
6.2 Objectives

7 Relevant IOC Documents on Sustainable Urban Development
7.1 Olympic Charter
7.2 Olympic Agenda 21
7.3 IOC Manual on Sports and the Environment
7.4 Olympic Games Study Commission


8 Olympic Games Bidding Process
8.1 History of the Olympic Games Bidding Process
8.2 The process
8.2.1 Phase 1: Candidature Acceptance Procedure (CAP)
8.2.2 Evaluation of the Working Group Report
8.2.3 Phase 2: Candidature Procedure
8.3 Selection of the Host City
8.3.1 Election Procedure
8.3.2 Decision Making in the Electing Procedure for a host city
8.4 Summary

9 Analysing Principles of Sustainable Urban Development in the Bidding Process
9.1 Principle 1: Integrate Olympic Infrastructure in urban development plans
9.1.1 Phase 1: Candidature Acceptance Procedure
9.1.2 Evaluation in the Working Group Report
9.1.3 Phase 2: Candidature Procedure
9.1.4 Summary
9.1.5 Recommendations
9.2 Principle 2: Ensure Post-Event Use for Olympic Infrastructure
9.2.1 Phase 1: Candidature Acceptance Procedure
9.2.2 Evaluation in the Working Group Report
9.2.3 Phase 2: Candidature Procedure
9.2.4 Summary
9.2.5 Recommendations
9.3 Principle 3: Maximise the use of existing infrastructure by respecting the city’s budget
9.3.1 Phase 1: Candidature Acceptance Procedure
9.3.2 Evaluation in the Working Group Report
9.3.3 Phase 2: Candidature Procedure
9.3.4 Summary
9.3.5 Recommendations
9.4 Principle 4: Ensure environmental standards for Olympic Infrastructure and accessibility to environmental goods
9.4.1 Phase 1: Candidature Acceptance Procedure
9.4.2 Evaluation in the Working Group Report
9.4.3 Phase 2: Candidature Procedure
9.4.4 Summary
9.4.5 Recommendations
9.5 Principle 5: Integration of citizens in the planning process of Olympic Infrastructure
9.5.1 Phase 1: Candidature Acceptance Procedure
9.5.2 Evaluation in the Working Group Report
9.5.3 Phase 2: Candidature Procedure
9.5.4 Summary
9.5.5 Recommendations
9.6 Principle 6: Stimulate improvement of Urban Infrastructure through Olympic Infrastructure
9.6.1 Phase 1: Candidature Acceptance Procedure
9.6.2 Evaluation in the Working Group Report
9.6.3 Phase 2: Candidature Procedure
9.6.4 Summary
9.6.5 Recommendations


10 Conclusion
10.1 Conlcusion of the analysis
10.1.1 Relevance of Sustainable Urban Development in the Bidding Process
10.1.2 How to respond to principles of sustainable urban development in the bid
10.2 General Conclusions
10.2.1 The interest of the IOC in Sustainable Urban Development
10.2.2 The real winner of a bidding process
10.2.3 Outlook on the future of the Games

11 Appendix
11.1 References
11.2 Abbreviations
11.3 Extracts from Bidding Documents
11.3.1 Phase 1: Candidature Acceptance Procedure (CAP)
11.3.2 Evaluation: Working Group Report
11.3.3 Phase 2: Candidature Procedure


The intention of this master thesis is to complete my studies in urban and regional planning (Raumplanung) at the Vienna University of Technology.

The study contains a theoretical framework on mega-events, mega sports events and its specific characteristics. Based on the physical infrastructure of mega sports events, the thesis will examine the relationship between Olympic Games and Urban Development. In this spirit, the study provides a summary on opportunities and threats related to Olympic Infrastructure with a view towards urban sustainability. An intermediate result will end with a definition of six principles of sustainable urban development for planning the Olympic Games. The analytical part of the thesis puts these principles in connection with the bidding process for the Olympic Games through a qualitative content analysis of the bidding documents provided by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Finally, the thesis concludes with some recommendations which can be realized in the bidding process to ensure sustainable urban development and enhance the quality of the bid from the perspective of a bid city.

For this thesis a study visit to the Olympic Studies Centre (OSC) in Lausanne, Switzerland has been funced through a scholarship from UT Vienna. It provided the possibility to access most of the literature used in this study.

Acknowledgement is given to: Rudolf Giffinger from UT Vienna for supervision; Feras Hammami from KTH Stockholm for his supplementary supervision; the staff in the Olympic Studies Centre, Lausanne for their support; the International Society of City and Regional Planners (ISoCaRP) for giving me the opportunity to participate in the Urban Planning Advisory Team in Guadalajara, Mexico for the Pan American Games 2011 and all other experts I could discuss with. Further, I want to thank Antonia Barboric and Michael Schaupp for proofreading. Special thanks to my girlfriend Iris for everything. Last but not least, I want to specially thank my parents and my sister for encouraging and supporting me.

Gregor Wiltschko, October 2008

List of Figures and Tables

Figure 5 Mega Sports Event Time Frame (own illustration)

Figure 7 Phases of Olympic Games (own illustration based on Mösch, 2006, p.4 and Preuss, 2002, p.8)

Figure 9 The six theoretical models of Olympic site integration to the host city (Liao & Pitts, 2006, p. 1249)

Figure 12 Opportunities and Threats of Olympic Urban Development (own compilation)

Figure 14 Feasibility factor in the IOC Working Group report (IOC, 2008a, p.14)

Figure 15 Olympic Village Evaluation on Tokyo by IOC Working Group (IOC, 2008a, p.51)

Figure 16 Fuzzy Logic Evaluation of 2016 bidding Cities on Olympic Village (IOC, 2008a, p.99)

Figure 17 Olympic Games Bidding Process (own illustration)

Figure 18 Relation of venue infrastructure in the 2016 bidding process (own illustration, data compiled from IOC, 2008a, pp.40-46)

Table 1 Types of events (Roche, 2000, p.4)

Table 2 Factors determining the impact of events (Hall, 1992, p.29)

Table 3 Types of Impacts (adapted from Hall, 1992, p.23)

Table 4 Coding Agenda for Qualitative Content Analysis (based on Mayring, 2000)

Table 5 The characteristics of Summer Olympics according to Hallmark event factors (based on Hall, 1992, p29; data compiled from IOC, 2007; IOC, 2007b)

Table 6 Changes of infrastructural impact of the Summer Games (Essex & Chalkley, 2003, p.7)

Table 7 New Olympic Infrastructure in Host Cities (own calculations based on: Liao, 2006, Gold & Gold, 2007)

Table 8 Olympic initiated urban parkland increase: From Tokyo to Beijing (Liao & Pitts, 2004, p.5)

Table 9 Principles and Objectives of Sustainable Urban Development (own compilation)

Table 10 Bidding Cities for the Olympic Summer Games, 1896-2016 (Gold & Gold 2007, p.18; complemented with data from

Table 11 Deadlines for the 2016 Candidature Acceptance Phase (IOC, 2007b, p.24)

Table 12 Themes of the 2016 Candidature Acceptance Procedure (IOC, 2007b, p.42)

Table 13 Main Criteria in the Working Group Report (IOC, 2008a, p.9)

Table 14 Deadlines for the 2016 Candidature Phase (IOC, 2008b, p.21)

Table 15 Themes of the 2016 Questionnaire (IOC, 2008b, p.61)

Table 16 Election of the Host City of the XXX Olympic Games (

Table 17 Coding in the Bidding Documents and Thesis (own illustration)

Table 18 Extract from the IOC Working Group Report, “Sports venues” (information compiled from IOC, 2008a, pp.40-46)

Table 19 Relevant Parts of Bidding Documents for Principle 1

Table 20 Extract from the IOC Working Group Report, “Olympic Village” (information compiled from IOC, 2008a, pp. 50-53)

Table 21 Relevant Parts of Bidding Documents for Principle 2

Table 22 Relevant Parts of Bidding Documents for Principle 3

Table 23 Extract from the IOC Working Group Report, “Environmental Impact” (information compiled from IOC, 2008a, pp. 56-59)

Table 24 Relevant Parts of Bidding Documents for Principle 4

Table 25 Relevant Parts of Bidding Documents for Principle 5

Table 26 Extract from the IOC Working Group Report, “General Infrastructure” (information compiled from IOC, 2008a, pp. 27-33)

Table 27 Relevant Parts of Bidding Documents for Principle 6

Table 28 Relevance of Principles in Bidding Process


"The more you know about the Olympics, the less it is about sport"

(Bob Perry, Design director of Olympic Projects at Scott Carver Pty. Ltd,

1.1 Aim and purpose of the thesis

The Olympic Games as a mega sports event attracts millions of people from all over the world. New records, fascinating performances, scandals or gigantic celebrations are just some of the attractions provided by this event. One attraction for urban planners is the fact that the Games imply opportunities to promote urban development.

From an urban planning perspective, the Olympic Summer Games in Barcelona 1992 set a new standard in defining success of an event of this scale. The city used the Games to promote urban development and planning strategies, profiting from the event in a long-term perspective. Furthermore, the city took another opportunity to find again a place on the “global map” through the Olympic Games. The case of Barcelona is one of the mostly cited successful urban development initiatives connected with a mega sports event.

Olympic Cities have taken the opportunity to promote urban development with the event very differently in the history of the Olympics. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the event-owner sets some requirements giving only a few cities the right to stage the event. These requirements are checked in the bidding process ending with the decision which city succeeds in getting the right of staging the event.

Integrating the success of an Olympic City in terms of urban development and in terms of the bidding process, the main question from an urban planning perspective is:

What is the relevance of Urban Development in the Bidding Process for Olympic Games?

To answer the definition of the city’s success in terms of urban development and the Olympic Games bidding process, it is helpful to investigate the role of Olympic Infrastructure with a view towards urban sustainability. As such, it is believed that respecting specific planning principles in the bidding process can help to (1) ensure sustainable urban development and (2) enhance the quality of the bid.

- The first aspect is relevant for the success of the city in terms of urban development to benefit from the Games in a long time perspective
- The second aspect is relevant for the city’s success in the bidding process to acquire the right for staging the Games.

The aim of this thesis is to examine how the quality of the bid may respond to principles of sustainable urban development. Two main objectives are identified to reach the aim:

1. Identifying opportunities and threats connected to Olympic Infrastructure in the history of the Olympics in order to formulate six main principles of sustainable urban development for the Olympic Games.
2. Analyzing official bidding documents of the IOC connected with these principles in order to understand how sustainable urban development can be considered in the bidding process.

The thesis will conclude with recommendations which can be realized in the bidding process striving to ensure the defined success for the city.

1.2 Structure of the thesis

This thesis is structured in four major parts.

Part I consists of chapter 2 and 3 and includes the theoretical framework and methodology of the thesis. Chapter 2 describes the character of mega-events and mega sports events in specific. Based on a concept of sustainable urban development, it will place mega sports events in the context of such a development, forming a theoretical approach for the thesis. Chapter 3 presents the methodology used.

Part II consists of chapter 4 and 5 and provides an overall understanding of the Olympic Games in the context of urban development. Chapter 4 gives an overview of the characteristics of the Olympic Games in order to understand the event and its background. Chapter 5 examines the relationship between urban development and the Olympic Games. A model will be presented in order to define “Olympic Urban Development” for the following sections of the chapter. The chapter will then continue with an historical overview of Olympic Urban Development and present the decisions determining the scale of development. Finally, chapter 5 concludes with the summary of opportunities and threats identified in a literature review of the Olympic Games. The research questions of Part II can be defined as follows:

- What are the significant characteristics of the Olympics in terms of mega-event factors?
- How can Olympic Urban Development be defined and modelled ?
- Which are the opportunities and threats for the built, natural, economic and social environment related to Olympic Urban Infrastructure ?

An intermediate result re-structures the identified opportunities and threats putting them in connection with the concepts presented in the theoretical part. Chapter 6 will conclude with a definition of six principles of sustainable urban development for planning the Olympic Games. The research question leading to the intermediate result can be defined as follows:

- Which kind of principles may respond to a sustainable Olympic Urban Development?

The second part ends with Chapter 7 in which relevant IOC documents about sustainable urban development will be presented.

Part III sets the bidding process in connection with sustainable urban development. Chapter 8 provides relevant information to understand the bidding process, its different phases and the selection procedure. Chapter 9 finally analyses the official bidding documents of the IOC for the defined principles of sustainable urban development. Summaries and recommendations will introduce the main findings for each principle and respond to three main research questions:

- Which parts in the bidding documents deal with the principle?
- How relevant is the principle in the evaluation of the bid?
- Which strategies support the quality of the bid and contribute to meet the objectives of the principle?

Part IV includes the conclusion of the thesis and summarizes the main findings of the analysis.


“While some may view the Olympics as primarily a sporting event, and others as primarily a media phenomenon, it should not be forgotten that the Olympics are also about cities” (Hiller, 2003, p.102)


This chapter provides a theoretical background on which the analysis of the research topic is based on. Firstly, it contains a section defining the term mega-event and its specific factors. A second section provides background about mega sports events in specific. As mainly relevant for the scope of the thesis, phases are introduced including bidding and impacts of mega sports events. Then, a third section will define physical impacts in detail. A fourth section introduces sustainable urban development presented by Camagni et al. (1998). Finally, a concluding section will set sustainable urban development in the context of mega events.

2.1 Mega Events

Events are certainly bounded to places, take place in cities and regions and are of great interest from an urban development perspective. They are driving forces for economic growth, place promotion and urban development in cities of today (Gold & Gold, 2007). The characterization of an event is often linked to its size but also according to its specific impacts. The term “mega-event” refers to special events like major fairs, festivals, expositions, cultural or sporting events held either on a regular or on a one-off basis (Hall, 1992) . Economists, sports scientists, sociologists and planners have differently defined the term “mega event”. One common source of many researchers in this field is the definition of Ritchie (1984, cited in Hall, 1992, p. 4):

“…major one-time or recurring events of limited duration, developed primarily to enhance the awareness, appeal and profitability of a tourism destination in the short and/or long term. Such events rely for their success on uniqueness, status, or timely significance to create interest and attract attention.”

The definition is already underlining one basic factor of an event, which is limited duration. Every event has a certain time-frame with a starting and end date, like the Olympics with a welcome and closing ceremony. We will see later in this chapter (section 2.2) that the time-frame to be taken into consideration for defining impacts of mega-events goes far beyond this small period of time.

Ritchie’s definition provides also the link to the place of an event. As the research among this topic is coming originally from the tourism branch, the place is named a “tourism destination”, which can profit from the event in a short and long term period. To understand these possible positive impacts and to clearly define what makes an event spatially “mega” it is necessary to differentiate between different types of events according to size:

“Mega events such as World Fairs and Expositions, the World Soccer Cup or the Olympic Games, are events which are expressly targeted at the international tourism market and may be suitably described as “mega” by virtue of their size in terms of attendance, target market, level of public financial involvement, political effects, extent of television coverage, construction of facilities, and impact on economic and social fabric of the host community.”

The definition of Hall (1997, cited in Allen et al., 1999, p.18) offers already an insight in the multidimensional character of mega-events pointing out the economic and social impacts. We will now concentrate on two specific indicators determining the size of an event:

Firstly the target market of events reaches from global to local. Some events can attract people from all over the world and have a truly global character. Olympic Games, World Cups in soccer, athletics or rugby , Formula One Grand Prix etc. include “world-level international sports competitions” and attract athletes and spectators from all over the world. This global dimension is also true for “E xpo-event types” which include “world-level international trade affairs” for major industries and technologies (Roche, 2000, p.3). Expos are specific in this field, because they don’t rely on a specific industry and show a wide-range of recent technologies, arts and crafts. Special events in arts and cultural events, for example the Cannes Film Festival have also a significance importance on the world-level, but there are also kind of “world regional” editions of such events (Roche, 2000, p.3) like the European Capital of Culture, which is significant on a continental scale. In sports, such “world-regional” events are connected to multi-sports Olympics (for example Pan American Games) or to “world-level specialist events” (Roche, 2000, p.3), like the European Soccer Championship UEFA EURO.

Secondly - this is especially important for sports events - a main issue to outline mega-events in respect to other events is their type of media interest. Roche (2000) differentiates between global, international, national and local types of media interest. The Olympic Games as a world multi-sports event is on the top of media coverage among all others and has a global media interest. As a single-sport event in soccer, the FIFA World Cup is playing in a similar league through television and the global diffusion of sports culture. Some figures can underline the exceptional media interest of those two sports events: The cumulative TV audience of 35.000 hours of broadcasting Athens 2004 Olympic Games was 40 billion people whereas the FIFA World Cup 2002 in Korea and Japan attracted 28.8 billion viewers on 41.000 hours (Horn & Manzenreiter, 2006, p.3).

Table 1 Types of events (Roche, 2000, p.4)

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Table 1 shows the categorization of events according to two main indicators: Three events on the top are defined as “mega” due to their high performance regarding these two indicators. Expos and Olympic Games seem to have a unique common character, underlining their global importance: Both are not concentrating on one single industry or sport, but have a multidimensional character. The FIFA World Cup is different in this sense, because it concentrates on just one “industry”. A worldwide outstanding interest in football results in a global media interest making this event also to a “mega” one. The second category of events is called “special events” and has a “world regional” target attendance. As an example, the Pan American Games as a multi-sports event get mainly attendance in their “world-region”, Asia. The next category is “hallmark events” taking place on a national or city-regional level. Finally a “community event” like a local cycling race is mainly of regional or local interest. As such, defining the different spatial levels of events, Table 1 helps to differentiate between several types of events and outlines the specific “global” character only true for mega-events.

2.2 Factors of mega-events

Before analyzing the impacts it is worth to define mega-events according to several factors. Again, Hall (1992, p.29) claims “a clear need for planners[1] to be aware of the factors determining the size of the impacts and to plan accordingly”. He lists some factors to be considered in planning for mega events (Table 2)

Table 2 Factors determining the impact of events (Hall, 1992, p.29)

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

The factors listed in Table 2 are useful to estimate approximately the event’s characteristics and basic preparation needed. Size and Length characterize the spatial dimension of an event. The frequency of an event is also connected with the size of it: Whereas mega-events are normally held on a one-off basis in a specific country or city other types of events occur regularly. Factors like transport and infrastructure should give basic information on physical preparations needed for mega sports events. “Administrative coordination” reflects another type of non-material infrastructure required for the event. Finally, the market segment should identify the target group mainly from a perspective of tourism-planning. We will use the factors later in the report to clearly define the characteristics of the mega sports event “Olympic Summer Games” (Section 4.3).

We can summarize mega-events as basically characterized through their global target market and global media interest. Expos, Olympic Games and the FIFA World Cup can be defined as truly global mega-events. Several factors have to be taken into consideration when planning for a mega-event. The fields of action are multidimensional and have to be considered in the planning process for a th event at an early stage. To focus the subject of investigation the next chapter will define mega sports events in detail.

2.3 Mega Sports Events

Table 1 presents two types of events as “mega-sports-events” on the basis of their global media interest and target attendance: the Summer and Winter edition of the Olympic Games and the FIFA World Cup. Focussing the study now on mega sports events it is necessary to understand specific characteristics of this type of events which identified by various research in this field. According to Thöni (1999) mega sports events are additionally characterized by their

a) immediate period of the event (bidding, preparation, execution, closing)
b) assistance in the economic development and/or restructuring strategies
c) key economic role in economic and especially tourism marketing strategies
d) long term social, economic and other legacies

Out of these characteristics we can summarize two main points relevant for this thesis:

Phases of mega sport events Point (a) stresses the aspect of time in mega sports events. This is a crucial point to understand the and its relevance for the development of places. Moreover, it is necessary to determine specific phases and points of time to specifically define the period of a mega-events evaluation. Sub-section 2.3.1 will continue with a definition of such phases, whereas sub-section 2.3.2 will focus on the Phase of “Bidding”.

Impacts of mega sports events are determined by points (b), (c), and (d) as a strategic tool for (urban) development and growth. Beside the global dimension of mega sports events these characteristics underline also the local impacts of such events. As such, the size of the event influences also the size of its local impact. This impact may assist physical impacts like the renewal of areas for the construction of event infrastructure and plays a significant role in (global) marketing strategies promoting the perception of a place. Sub-section 2.3.3 will determine impact categories and explain positive as well as negative examples.

2.3.1 Phases of Mega Sports Events

In the time-frame of a mega sports event different phases occur. Due to the complex organizational structure, all relevant impacts do not just occur in the short period of hosting but have wide ranging influence on the time before and after the event. The length of a mega sports event is clearly defined by its event owner, which is IOC for the Olympics and FIFA for the World Cup. In a specific period of time the host of the event has to stage the tournament(s). The event owner determines also the deadlines for the preparation of their events. Location decisions for Olympic Games and FIFA World Cups are normally announced seven years before hosting whether to a specific city or nation. This is necessary to give the hosts the chance to adopt the city’s infrastructure for successful hosting (Preuss, 2002). According to Mösch (2006) several phases and sub-phases can be differentiated for mega sports events (Figure 1):

- The pre-event phase of mega sports events includes two subsequent periods. It starts with the initial idea to host an event and the following process where several locations compete for the right to host the event (“Bidding”). The decision of the event owner marks the second point of the pre event phase (“Acceptance”). Then a phase of preparation and construction will last several years, where the location has to adapt its infrastructure and specific requirements to host the event. At the starting point of the event, all preparations have to be finished to assure realization and successful hosting.
- The hosting phase is executed from the opening ceremony to the closure of the event. It can be named specifically the “event” and is the shortest period of time with duration of only a few weeks. The length of this period is defined by the event owner.
- Like the first phase, the post-event phase is divided into two sub-phases: Firstly a phase of re-construction and utilisation directly after the event. This period of time includes activities like deconstructions and reconstruction of infrastructure until they are ready for permanent use. The very last period of time defines the reuse and subsequent financing of infrastructure.

Figure 1 Periods of organizing a mega sports event (adapted from Mösch, 2006, p.4)

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

These three different phases for mega sports events may cause positive and negative at different points of time but also at the same time. An event can only take place, if an applicant institution (city, region or nation) competes successfully for the hosting of the event. This process in the pre-event phase is named “bidding” and will be subject of investigation in the analysis part of this study.

2.3.2 Bidding

Firstly, the idea to host a mega sports event has to come from a city, region or nation, which is interested to host the event. The overall objective for a city who is applying for a large-scale event is to win the right to organize it (SENTEDALPS, 2005). Like in each competition there is a supply and demand side, whereas the following situation is true for mega sports events:

The city is representing the demand side and may have several competitors who are addressing the same goals. Cities in the field of competition for a mega-event differ in size, rank, interior and other factors and have different chances to achieve the goal. They follow different strategies in the phase, where it is necessary to fulfil the requirements of the supply side. Not all cities have capacity to host an event like the Olympic Games. The phase of this competition is named “bidding process” or “bid procedure” and contains several phases as well.

The supply side in the competition for events is represented by the owner of the event, which can be national federations, international federations or private companies (SENTEDALPS, 2005). International Federations (IF) are the owners of continental or worldwide events. In football, for example, UEFA is the owner of the continental competition and the European Championship, whereas FIFA is the owner of the worldwide competition and the World Cup. The objective of an event-owner is to develop the event and to select a host, which is able to do this (SENTEDALPS, 2005). In contrary to FIFA World Cup or UEFA EURO there are multi-sports events like the Olympic Games, which have their own owner-federations, which is the International Olympic Committee (IOC). This institution is setting the framework, rules and requirements for the bidding process, relying to the recent edition of the Olympic Charter.

The goals and positions of the supply and demand side come together in the bid process, whereas a bidding city has to achieve the requirements of the event-owner. Thus, a crucial question from the perspective of the demand side is: “What can my site and my organization provide the owner in terms of adding value to the event?” (SENTEDALPS, 2005, p.29). From an event-owner perspective it is definitely worth to stress the benefits and positive impacts of the event to keep their current position as a monopolist of the greatest sports event in the world (Preuss 2000).

The selection process is different and set by the event-owner. Several factors influence the decision election of the event host. These factors may include personal motivation of the persons having the right to vote, election rules set by the institutions, lobbying or corruption from outside or simply the quality of the bid. This thesis will concentrate on the latter factor. An insight in the factors leading to decisions in the elections of the Olympic Games will be given later in this thesis.

2.3.3 Impacts of Mega Sports Events

Figure 2 Size and Impact of events (adapted from Allen et al., 1999, p.22)

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Mega sports events do not take place in a vacuum, in addition to their global awareness and importance they have an impact on the local and global level for their host cities, regions and/or nations. Because of wide-ranging positive impacts increasingly researched and documented such events gain popularity and support (Allen et al., 1999). Following Roche (2000), a central factor of mega-events is the fact, that they have significant consequences for the host city, region or nation in which they occur – the mega events’ impact. The size of the event correlates positively to the size of the impact assumed in Figure 2: Naturally, a local cycling event in a small village (community event) has less impact on the host city than a mega-event like the Expo.

In fact, many cities and regions apply “mega-event” strategies in order to attract investment, people and tourism and booster urban development. On the other hand mega events may also have negative consequences, such as social inequality among the host population and the stakeholders involved. For example, the “global” character, defined by media attraction and public prominence, can turn into a wrong direction, if the organization of an event fails and pushes a bad image of the host city. The definition of impacts is essential for analysing mega-events from an urban development perspective.

According to Hall (1992) there are six types of impacts which mega sports events can have on their host-communities, whereas all of them have several positive and negative characteristics. Table 3 gives for each type a positive and negative example of the impacts.

Table 3 Types of Impacts (adapted from Hall, 1992, p.23)

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Generally it can be said that impacts of multi-place events like the Football World Cup take place more on a national level, mainly because of the fact that the whole country is the official host of the event (Germany 2006, Japan and South Korea 2002, France 1998…). In contrary, the Olympic Games are always dedicated to a specific city (Beijing 2008, Athens 2004, Sydney 2000…). This principle is also determined in the Olympic Charta (IOC, 2007a). Both sports events do have impacts on the local, regional and national level, but Olympic Games have a specific strong impact on the host cities, especially when it comes to physical ones. The complexity of the event, due to its multi-sports character requires a wide range of infrastructure for sports, media and accommodation. On the contrary, host cities of the preliminary round of a Football World Cup basically need a football stadium of a specific size and the corresponding transport infrastructure to stage the event for only two or three match days.

As the impacts have a multidimensional character many interrelations between the single elements of the matrix occur. Depending on the scale of analysis one impact may have both positive and negative impacts on other categories (Hall, 1992). Improvement of local infrastructure as a physical impact is a good example for that multidimensionality: The expansion of a light-rail line as a physical positive impact has of course a positive economic impact too, for example through increased housing stock values in the affected area. It may have a positive impact for the tourist destination as it increases the accessibility of a tourist area. The social impact may be positive for the population profiting of the increased accessibility of the area but can have negative impact for a (social disadvantaged) group of people dislocated. Moreover the investment may limit the construction of other necessary infrastructure projects and lead to real estate speculation as well.

Although the definition of impacts by Hall (1992) comes originally from the tourism sector the categories can be used for impact studies from other perspectives as well. Economic impact studies are often done ahead of mega sports events to find out whether it is legitimated to use public money for investments in such an event. It can help to identify the goals of a mega sports event in a long – term perspective. Additionally opportunity costs play a significant role: It has to be questioned, if the positive impacts of the event can be reached cheaper or maybe even more effective through other instruments (Heinemann, 2002). Generally, the output of such studies has to be critically investigated. Because of the complexity of impacts there is a high risk for misinterpretations due to imperfect information and knowledge. Moreover, such studies are often determined by political interests, leading to disruption of figures and tables in favour of a bid (Thöni, 1999).

The multidimensional character of the impacts makes it also very difficult to analyse all of them in their full variety. This seems to be especially true for those impacts hard to measure due to their intangible character. Physical impacts can be described by figures and tables related to investment costs for example. Their economic impact can be underlined by investigations of the housing stock values in the affected area. On the contrary, psychological impacts like the changing perception of the place or the increased local pride is more difficult to measure and to proof.

Another difficulty in the analysis of mega sports events impacts is the definition of the relation of the impact to the event. It is definitely challenging to differentiate between impacts occur definitely because of the event and those occur independently of the event (Thöni, 1999). Some developments may be accelerated through the event, whereas others are limited through the event. The impact of Olympic Games as a mega sports event can perfectly show this analysis-dilemma: Whereas the construction of an Olympic Stadium can be clearly defined as a direct physical impact of a specific event, the expansion of transport infrastructure can have happened also without the event in the same period of time. We will come back later to this dilemma in the next chapter.

Finally it has to be critically stated that the impact matrix above neither differentiates short term and long term impacts not the specific time when such impacts occur (Heinemann, 2002). Impacts occur sometimes at the same time and sometimes at different points of time. As an example increased job opportunities will primarily occur before and during the event. Psychological impacts, like increased local pride may grow during the event and reach its climax in a post event phase.

More generally, it is essential to understand the aspects of bidding and impacts of mega sports events in a simple time-scale. Figure 3 visualizes the phase of bidding as completed phase when a bidding city/nation has been accepted by an event-owner. In this phase there is a competition between places for the event, characterized by a supply side representing a monopolist. A bidding place has not only to achieve the requirements of the event-owner but relies also on the specific decision making process of the institution. A description and analysis of the bidding process will be the topic of investigation later in the study. Before, it is necessary to define the specific impacts of mega sports event related to urban development.

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Figure 3 Phases of a Mega Sports Event (own illustration based on Mösch, 2006, p.4)

2.4Physical Impact: Mega sports event Infrastructure

The previous section has pointed out the multidimensional impacts of mega sports events. The aim of this section is to define the physical impacts of mega sports events in terms of infrastructure. This will set the basis for defining urban development of mega sports events.

For the categorisation of physical impacts of mega events we will use the term “infrastructure” in the following investigations. “Infrastructure” in a physical dimension means “material” infrastructure. This implies the character of being “tangible”. It is necessary to mention that two other dimensions of infrastructure, namely “institutional” and “human” infrastructure (Streich, 2005). However, the last two will not be the topic of investigation in this thesis. Having in mind the restrictions we will continue with the definition “infrastructure” and specify the term for a mega sports event.

Preuss (2006) claims that mega events differ in the structures they demand and cities differ in the structures they provide. Therefore, the city sets up some “obligate” measures and some “optional” measures for the event. The latter measures are used by the city to strategically position itself in the bidding process. During the preparation phase the “obligate” structures are set up and other “optional” are embedded to improve particular location factors. During the hosting phase all event structures are present, whereas some of the structures disappear or lose intensity (Preuss, 2006 ). Some of the structures exist for a long time after the event in the post-event period. Infrastructure is defined as one of six structures:

“Infrastructure obviously means the sport infrastructure for competition and training, but also the general infrastructure of a city such as airports, roads, telecommunications, hotels, housing (athletes, media, officials), entertainment facilities, fair grounds, parks etc. All infrastructure left after the event should fit into the city’s development.” (Preuss, 2006, p.7)

According to this definition, “obvious” infrastructure consists of sports facilities, whereas “general infrastructure” includes further structures like transport or housing. Thus, infrastructure necessary for mega sports events is much more than “obligate” facilities for competition and training. In terms of “optional” measures a city has to provide an adequate infrastructure in order to successfully host the event. In case of insufficient infrastructure a city has to do investments which may improve the location factors and contributes to a positive long-term impact.

Another definition according to an INTERREG IIIB Programme called “SENTEDALPS”[2] is concentrating on attracting mega sports events in the Alpine Space Region. Infrastructure is mentioned in the context of “physical characteristics of host cities” (SENTEDALPS, 2005, p. 24) :

- “Sports facilities: in terms of the Alpine Space, the most important “facility” is the area’s snow cover, its ski runs and the ski-lifts that give access to them. Other standard sports facilities provided by, or available for use by the local authority include sports stadiums, skating rinks, swimming pools, tennis courts, golf courses and other sports halls.[…] Existing facilities will usually need to be modified to meet the specific needs of the event.”
- “General infrastructure: facilities that are not directly used for competitions, but which are essential for the smooth running of the event. The most important infrastructure elements are site access, public transportation (train stations, airports, bus links, etc), hospitals, water treatment works, etc.”
- “Tourist infrastructure: “includes hotels and restaurants (the capacity of which is a determining factor), conference and exhibition centres, arts centres, leisure centres, etc.”
Although the definition is based on winter-sports events, it gives a feasible differentiation of a mega sports event infrastructure. Differently from the previous definition this one separates infrastructure into three groups. “Sports facilities” include new facilities to be built for the event and existing ones which have to be upgraded. “General infrastructure” stresses the importance of transport and other urban infrastructure required for the event. The last group combines different elements of tourist accommodation and services (hotel, restaurants) with other urban infrastructure.

How the terms “obvious” and ”optional” can be interpreted in the defining “mega sports-event infrastructure”. Having in mind the multidimensional impacts and specific requirements of a mega sports event the specific question is: Which infrastructure can we associate as “obvious” for a mega sports event and which infrastructure is “obligate”?

One example[3] from UEFA EURO 2008, Vienna may respond to this question. For the matches in Vienna an existing stadium was used. The stadium represents an existing sports facility and can be defined as an “obvious” mega sports event-infrastructure. Since the stadium was not adequately accessible by public transport, the city had to improve the subway-line until the period of staging the event. The construction of the subway-line was already planned irrespective of the EURO, but necessary to operate the event successfully. Thus, it might be named “obvious” as well. But what about the construction of a shopping centre close to the new station at the stadium? It is not necessary for operating the event but complements the infrastructure development at the new subway-station. This is could be interpreted as “optional” infrastructure according to Preuss (2006).

As the infrastructure requirements are various for different events, such a clarification has to be done specifically for each mega sports event. Section 5.1 defines infrastructure for the case of the Olympic Games.

2.5 Sustainable Urban Development

The term “sustainability” is interpreted and discussed controversially provoking many debates among different fields of studies. One starting point of sustainability policies is represented by the publication of the well-known Brundtland report “Our common future” which defines sustainability as “a process of change in which the exploitation of resources, the direction of investments, the orientation of technological development and institutional changes are made consistent with future as well as present needs” (WCED, 1987, cited in Camagni et al., 1998). Despite the high number of various interpretations of sustainability in different fields like economy, ecology, sociology, geography or planning some common agreements can be named according to Camagni et al. (1998, p.105):

1. Sustainability does not only refer to environmental protection but embraces also economic and social aspects.
2. Sustainability relates to a dynamic, balanced and adaptive evolutionary process, i.e. a process in which a balanced use and management of the natural environment basis of economic development is ensured.

These two issues build a basis for the interpretation of what sustainability means for cities: The respect of social and economic aspects in the use and management of the natural environment. However, there is a critical point when interpreting these aspects in an urban context: In a city the natural aspects have already been sacrificed for the sake of the creation of urban agglomerations. A definition of urban sustainability in which the natural environment is given first priority is underestimating the positive (social and economic) aspects related to agglomeration advantages in the city (Camagni et al., 1998). Bringing sustainability in an urban context, regarding the positive aspects from social and economic environments one could state that urban sustainable development is a “development which ensures that the local population can attain and maintain an acceptable and non-declining level of welfare, without jeopardizing the opportunities of people in adjacent areas” (Nijkamp & Opschoor, 1995, cited in Camagni et al. 1998, p.106).

Accordingly, three different kinds of environment can be observed in a city, whereas all of these environments deeply interact with one another. All these environments express at the same time goals, means and constraints to human action on the city and generate advantages and disadvantages for a city (user) (Camagni et al., 1998):

- Physical environment: The natural and built environment of a city brings typical public goods and externalities.
- Economic environment: justifies the presence of a city through agglomeration economies (indivisibilities and synergies).
- Social environment: a city offers many social amenity resources and guarantees socialisation opportunities and access to many goods.

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Figure 4 The locus of sustainability principles and policies (Camagni et al., 1998, p. 108)

In a static sense, the goal of a sustainable city in the interaction of the environments is the maximisation of net-cross externalities in a short and long-term perspective and the avoiding of negative interactions to the largest possible extent. As an example, economic growth generates negative external effects for the physical environment like congestion, pollution or depletion but may also contribute to efficient use for energy due to agglomeration economies. Thus, in a static sense, a city is characterized sustainable, if the sum of all positive externalities generated through the interaction of the three environments is larger than the sum of the negative external effects caused by the interaction (Camagni et al., 1998).

In a dynamic perspective, urban sustainability refers to a balanced co-evolution of the three environments that constitute the deep structure of the city. The evolution of these environments in a city is governed by specific regulatory principles (Camagni et al., 1998):

1. pure profitability and growth
2. pure ecological and aesthetic principles
3. pure equity and welfare

According to Camagni et al. (1998, pp. 108-109) a co -evolution can be reached through a transformation and integration of these regulatory principles (see Figure 4):

1. Firstly pure short term profitability and growth principles should evolve into a long term allocative efficiency. This includes the internalisation of negative externalities, the embedding of behavioural rules with respect to the environment and the adaption of a long term perspective in the allocation of resources with the definition of (social) benefits and costs.
2. By integrating the environmental and the social sphere the Environmental equity principles should guarantee inter- and intra- generational fairness. This means securing firstly the provision of environmental assets and secondly the fair social accessibility to these assets in order to avoid a turn of environmental policy into the public provision of luxury goods.
3. Profitability and equity principles should be integrated towards distributive efficiency through redistributive mechanisms. A sustainable city has to provide fair accessibility to basic elements like education/health and wider access to options of economic upgrading and vertical societal mobility.

The concept of Camagni et al. (1998) is relevant for this thesis in two ways: Firstly the definition of the environments (built-natural-economic-social) will be respected for clustering the relevant opportunities and threats. Secondly, the transformation and integration of regulatory principles from a dynamic perspective sets the overall goals (long term allocative efficiency, environmental equity, distributive efficiency) for defining principles of sustainable urban development.

2.6 Sustainable Urban Development in the context of a mega sports event

Urban development includes a wide range of heterogeneous topics and is a cross-sectional field. To investigate urban development in the context of mega-sports event it is necessary to delimit the potential impacts of a mega sports event. As such, this study will concentrate on the physical impacts defined as mega sports event infrastructure. The objective is to identify the opportunities and threats for the built, natural, social and economic environment of a city related to mega sports event infrastructure.

As mega sports event infrastructure is already part of the built environment, this category is also used to identify the “spatial” impacts, summarizing the single changes of the built environment as an overall spatial change in the urban fabric. This is for example the strengthening of polycentrism through locational decision as a possible development through mega-sports infrastructure. But it can also be interpreted as the interaction of elements of the built environment with other elements of the built environment. The example of an existing stadium with the necessity of an adequate transport accessibility illustrates this interaction best.

When looking at the time-frame of a mega sports events we can identify three different phases: Pre-event phase, hosting phase and post-event phase. We will now try to build an appropriate time-frame building the basis for the investigation and analysis in this thesis. It is necessary to view this time-frame from different perspectives in order to understand the success of a mega sports event.

From an event planning perspective the pre-event and hosting phase is of specific interest. In the very first period - the bidding process - different requirements are stated by the event-owner in order to choose the host of a future mega sports event. As a monopolist, the event owner is interested in the success of the event adding value to the product (event) and may choose the applicant with the highest quality of the bid. One of the bid requirements is to provide an adequate infrastructure. In this sense, the event-owner is basically interested in the delivery of required infrastructure in time. Thus, from an event planning perspective a success is defined by providing the necessary infrastructure at the hosting phase. The given period of time is the pre-event phase, where all preparations and construction can be done in order to successfully stage the event.

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Figure 5 Mega Sports Event Time Frame (own illustration)

From an urban development perspective the full time-frame of a mega sports event is of interest (see Figure 5). Firstly, in the first pre-event phase it is a success for the city to get the right of staging the event. Winning the competition for hosting an event is a specific distinction for a city in an inter-urban competition and may bring advantages in terms of inward investments and attracting people and tourists. A city may strive to enhance the quality of its bid in order to heighten the chances of success. In the preparation and construction phase, the city strives to provide the necessary infrastructure in the given time-frame in order to successfully operate the event in the hosting phase. Finally, evaluation of the success for the city is only possible in the post-event phase when investigating the development of the environments of the city related to mega-sports infrastructure.

This thesis will investigate which principles can be set up in the bidding process in order to secure a sustainable urban development and enhance the quality of the bid.

2.7 Definitions and Limitations

This section should give the main definitions used so far and will help to understand and set the limits for the title: “Principles of Sustainable Urban Development in the Bidding Process for Olympic Games”.

Goal: Sustainability

The overall objectives for sustainable urban development are set as (1) Long term allocative efficiency, (2) Environmental equity and (3) Distributive efficiency according to the concept of Camagni presented in section 2.5. An interpretation of the principles for this thesis is given in chapter 6.

Result: Principles

A principle is “a fundamental law or truth as the basis for reasoning or action” (Pearsall, 1998, p.342). Principles in this thesis are the basis for actions in order to meet the overall goal sustainable urban development.

Subject of investigation: Olympic Games

As some different kinds of mega sports events are listed in the theoretical framework, this thesis will concentrate on the Olympic Summer Games, shortly named “Olympic Games”, “Olympics” or “Games” in this thesis. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is the event-owner and responsible for the selection of the host city.

Dimension of space: City

According to the “One-city-Principle” of IOC (see section 4.3), the spatial level of investigation will be on a (host) city- level. Although a mega sports event like the Olympics has obviously impacts on a national and regional level, the scope of the study allows only the focus on a city level.

Dimension of time: Bidding Process

The bidding process is a defined period of time, where it is believed that several principles can be implemented. Evaluating an event in a post-event phase is not the scope of the thesis. Much more, it is to ensure the success for the city from a perspective of sustainable urban development in the phase of bidding.

Quality of the bid

The Quality of the bid and the Quality of sustainable urban development in the bid is one factor in a successful bidding process. Other factors (geo-political issues, lobbying, personal interests of IOC members…) influencing the IOC decision are not included in the analysis, but shortly introduced in the thesis.


Research methodology in this thesis is mainly following a qualitative study design. The first part is based on literature review among mega sports events, the Olympic Games and sustainable urban development. It represents the theoretical framework for the thesis and contributes to the understanding of the subjects of investigation. For the second part of the thesis, a theoretical model is created in order to understand the effects of Olympic Infrastructure (explorative approach). A focused literature review strives to summarize opportunities and threats specifically related to Olympic Infrastructure (descriptive approach). As an intermediate result of the thesis, principles are formulated respecting the identified opportunities and threats. The analysis in the third part is based on the method of a qualitative content analysis. Recommendations are given based on the analysis representing a prescriptive approach.

In large part used literature for this desktop-study was accessed at the IOC Olympic Studies Centre (OSC) in Lausanne. Official IOC Documents used for the analysis had been accessed at the OSC and are also available online.

Qualitative Content Analysis

For analysing the formulated principles of sustainable urban development for the Olympic Games this thesis uses the method of a qualitative content analysis according to Mayring (2002).

The objective of a qualitative content analysis is to systematically analyse specific written material stepwise on basis of a theoretical grounded category-system (Mayring, 2002). Categories face the theoretical aspects relevant for answering the research question and aim to reorder and filter the content of the document.

Three main steps are necessary for analysing the documents according to this method:

- Summary: The objective of this analysis is to reduce the material (abstraction) and highlight the relevant content as a representative summary of the material. Documents summarized to a short-version through paraphrasing, generalisation and reduction of similar paraphrases.
- Explication: This part of the analysis strives to explain probably questionable parts of the text through additional material.
- Structuring: The aim of this analysis is to filter specific aspects out of the material according to categories or to evaluate the material based on defined categories. The short version is structured and ordered according to the research question. (Mayring, 2000)

Category building can be done through an inductive or deductive approach:

An inductive approach develops the categories through the document itself. Following this approach the material is worked through and categories are tentative and step by step deduced. Within a feedback loop they are checked for reliability and eventually reduced to main categories (Mayring, 2000).

The deductive category approach, which is used in this thesis, works with the prior formulated principles bringing them in connection with the text. Each category is assigned to a passage of the text and the text is scanned according to the defined categories (Mayring, 2000).

For the theoretical based formulation of the deductive categories it is necessary to give explicit definitions, examples and coding rules. This is determining the exact circumstances under which a text passage is analysed. (Mayring, 2000). It is helpful to use a Coding Agenda to put the definitions together. A possible example is shown in Table 4.

Table 4 Coding Agenda for Qualitative Content Analysis (based on Mayring, 2000)

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A fully developed Coding Agenda allows to summarize and to evaluate main statements of the document(s) according to the research question.

Why this method was chosen for this study?

The method of qualitative content analysis is useful in analysing specific written material stepwise on basis of a theoretical grounded category-system. The developed principles of sustainable urban development for Olympic Games with its definitions represent the category system for the qualitative content analysis in this thesis. As such, the method was primarily used to identify the relevant passages of specific documents and not to evaluate them. However, an overview of each principle’s relevance is given in the Conlusion part and could only respect the general defintion of the principle. The official IOC documents for the 2016 bidding process represent the subject of investigation in order to answer the stated research questions:

1. Which parts in the bidding documents are dealing with the principle?
Aim of analysis
- Identify requirements demanded by IOC meeting the stated principle in specific and/or general.
Documents of analysis
- “Candidature Acceptance Procedure and Questionnaire. Games of the XXXI Olympiad in 2016” (Phase 1)
- “2016 Candidature Procedure and Questionnaire. Games of the XXXI Olympiad” (Phase 2)
Criteria for analysis
- Selected requirement is relevant for one or more objectives defined in the principle
- Selected requirement can be associated (at least) to one Olympic Infrastructure project (sports facilities, Olympic Village and/or media facilities)
- Selected requirement includes a long-term perspective and is not primary relevant for the operational success of the event (e.g. concepts of waste management during the event)

2. How relevant is the principle in the evaluation of the bid?
Aim of analysis
- Try to identify the relevance of the principle in the Working Group Report of IOC in order to understand its importance for the evaluation of the quality of the bid
Documents of analysis
- “Games of the XXXI. Olympiad. 2016 Working Group Report”
Criteria for analysis
- Evaluation can be (generally or specifically) associated to the achievement of the principle
- Evaluation is linked to a specific requirement identified in Phase 1 (Research Question 1)
The evaluation includes only the bidding document of the first phase, the Questionnaire of the Candidature Acceptance Procedure. As such, the answering on this research question is based only on one document, the Working Group Report. The role of the Working Group Report in the bidding process is defined in Chapter 8. Due to time-restrictions, the official IOC Commission Report (will be published in August 2009) for the 2016 Candidate Cities could not be analysed in this thesis.
The final research question follows a prescriptive approach:

3. Which strategies support the quality of the bid and contribute to meet the objectives of the principle?

According to this research question, the analysis concludes with some recommendations for future bid cities how to fully achieve the principle. The recommendations strive to find a common ground satisfying the interest of both, city and the event owner. The following criteria are taken into consideration when choosing the recommendations. The recommendation should:

- meet one objective of the principle stated in the definition
- address primarily the needs of the city and secondarily the needs of the event
- be realistically addressed and solved by planners and implemented at the stage of bidding.
- be allocated to a single Olympic Infrastructure project or to the overall Olympic concept.
- enhance the quality of the bid


This part of the thesis consists of four chapters. Firstly, Chapter 4 defines the event according to the characteristics of mega-sports events in the theoretical part. Chapter 5 will define Olympic Urban Development and give an historical insight into the Olympic Games. In addition to some main decisions determining the development and conclude with potential effects summarized as opportunities and threats. Chapter 6 will re-structure these potential effects and formulate six principles of sustainable urban development representing the intermediate result in this thesis. Finally, chapter 7 summarizes the most relevant documents of IOC concerning this issue.

4 Olympic Games Characteristics

This chapter will give an overview of the Olympic Games characteristics in order to understand the event and its background. The first section gives a brief insight into the Olympic history from the ancient Greek festival until the beginning of modern Olympic Games. The second part will present goals, institutions and committees of the Olympic Movement. Then, a third section will define the event “Olympic Games” according to factors presented in the previous theoretical chapter. Finally, a brief section introduces the specific phases of the event.

4.1 History of the Olympic Games

The Olympics were the oldest of many Greek festivals and there is little certainty about the details of the festival’s origin and how the competitions actually began. Archaeologists set the starting date of the event at 776 BC (Young, 2004). An Olympiad marked the period between two Games and was a measure in the Greek ancient world. Recent excavations prove that international competitions took place until about 400 AD, until the Christian imperator Theodosius banned all pagan ceremonies (Young, 2004).

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Figure 6 Site of Olympia, about 325 BC (Young, 2004, p.126)

In 776 BBC, there was just one event, which was the running competition. The “stadion” was a sprint of one “stade” (192,27 metres), whereas a stade was determined by the length of the stadium (IOC, 2004). Over the decades, several sport competitions had been implemented in the festival and thus, the competitions took place over more days. Apart from the Temple of Hera and a few of the treasuries that were its near contemporaries, the earliest infrastructure had been built around the mid-sixth century BC. The Prytaneum (a kind of town hall) and the Bouleuterion (Council House) marked the very first phase of a “Olympic-related” urban development (Young, 2004). More than 200 years later, Olympia was not a town or a city, but rather a sanctuary which was divided into a sacred and secular area, marked by a boundary. The temple to Zeus, other temples, altars, treasuries and small facilities represented the sacred area of Olympia. Sports and administration facilities had been outside the boundary at the secular area. The number of people present for the Olympic Games is estimated to have been over 40.000 (Olympic Museum, 2007). For almost one millennium, the Greeks and later the Romans met at Olympia to celebrate the festival, until the Christian emperor Thedosius precluded the end of the ancient Games. Olympia gradually disappeared under several metres of earth until German archaeologists carried out the site in the 19th century (Olympic Museum, 2007).

Baron Pierre de Coubertin was the man who revived the ancient Olympic Games and founded the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1894. He firstly introduced a vision of the revival of Olympic Games during a conference about English education where he linked them with educational priorities. The vision was confirmed at the Sorbonne in Paris in 1894, which marks the inaugural congress of the IOC (IOC, 2004). The Greek were keen that the Games should remain in their birthplace, but the idea of Coubertin was to celebrate them in different countries around the world every four years. Finally, the first modern Olympic Games were opened in Athens on 6 April 1896 with a total of 241 competitors from 14 countries, and Demetrius Vikélas from the hosting country Greece was appointed as the first president of IOC (IOC, 2004). This was the starting point for the history of the Modern Olympic Games and the Olympic Movement.

4.2 The Olympic Movement

The Vision of the Olympic Movement is to build “a peaceful and better world by educating youth through sport practiced without discrimination of any kind in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.” (IOC, 2004, p.17). Fundamental principles of the Olympic Movement are codified in the Olympic Charter, which sets also the main conditions for the celebration and site selection of the Olympic Summer and Winter Games. The Olympic Movement includes and associates several institutions and committees, whereas three of them have responsibilities, both in the bidding process and in the organization of the Olympic Games: The IOC the Olympic Games Organizing Committee (OCOG) and the National Olympic Committee (NOC).

The IOC is a non-governmental organization and privately funded with headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland. It owns all rights concerning the Olympic symbol, the Olympic flag, the Olympic motto, the Olympic anthem and the Olympic Games. All activities and relationships of the IOC are governed by the Olympic Charter which is a codification of the fundamental principles and rules and bye-laws. The mission of IOC is to ensure the successful delivery and celebration of the Olympic Games and implement programmes perpetuating values of the Olympic Movement (IOC, 2004).

The organization is led by its president (Jacques Rogge since 2001), the IOC Executive Board and the IOC Session, which comprises the IOC members working as volunteers. According to the reforms of the 110th Session in 1999, the number of IOC members is limited to 115 and the average age is fixed at 70 (IOC, 2004). The president is elected by an absolute majority of IOC members convened at a Session and serves eight years with a possible re-election for another four years. The IOC Executive Board manages the affairs of the IOC and consists of the president, four vice-presidents and ten other members. The IOC session meets at least once a year to adopt, modify and interpret the Olympic Charter and delegate powers to the Executive Board. An Olympic Congress is held every eight years with a particular theme and has a consultative nature. The president sets up specialized commissions or working groups in order to study certain subjects and make recommendations to the Executive board. Such commissions typically include IOC members, representatives of the International Olympic Sports Federations (IFs) and the National Olympic Committees (NOCs), athletes, technical experts, advisers and sports specialists. Finally, the administration of the IOC is responsible for electing the Director General, who runs the organization under the authority of the president. About 300 people work for the IOC administration, which is largely run from its headquarters as well as from the Olympic Museum and the Studies Centre in Lausanne (IOC, 2004).

National Olympic Committees (NOC s) are responsible for developing and protecting the Olympic Movement in their respective countries. They encourage the development of high performance sport as well as “sport for all” through teaching, educational and cultural programmes. For the Olympic Games, the NOCs select, organize and manage their own national delegations for the Summer and Winter Olympics. They also have the task to decide which city in their own country may apply as a Candidate City to host the Olympic Games (IOC, 2004).

In case of a successful bidding the NOC of the host city’s country and the host city itself form an Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (OCOG), which must comply with the Olympic Charter and the Host City Contract from the time of its constitution to the end of its liquidation. The OCOG collaborates with the government for the event infrastructure preparation, provides all Games-related services to participants and clients and is responsible for all aspects of the operations. An Olympic Games Coordination Commission assists the OCOG in planning, realization and implementation of the Olympic Games which refers also to experience from past Olympic Games (IOC, 2004).

Other institutions, which are recognized officially by the IOC, are also part of the Olympic Movement: The International Federations (IF), the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA), the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the International Paralympic Committee, the International Olympic Academy and other “Olympic Movement Associates” (IOC, 2004). After describing the main stakeholders in the Olympic Movement relevant for the Olympic Games, we will define the event according to its main factors.

4.3 Olympic Games Factors

Due to their complex and evolving character, it is difficult to define precisely what the modern Olympics exactly represent. The central objective of the event is the staging of an elite sporting competition. Additionally, the Games embrace different cultures, politics, ideologies, identities, arts, religions, commerce and environment concerns among other things (Cashman, 1999). This section (according to section 2.2) will briefly characterize the Olympic Games for the following nine factors of Hallmark events (Hall, 1992) to understand the main characteristics of the largest sport event of the world. The definitions represent the IOC perspective of the definition, based on recent official IOC-documents, namely the latest edition of the “Olympic Charter” in 2007 and the “Candidature Acceptance Procedure” for 2016 Applicant Cities. Table 5 gives an overview of the definitions found.

Goals: The Olympic Games underlies the aim of the Olympic Movement and thus, have to fulfil the principles of the Olympic Charta. The main aim of the Olympic Games is to promote the sportive competition between the athletes of countries all over the world. Prominently stated is also the economic, urban, social and historical influence of the event (IOC, 2007b).

Size: The number of athletes and officials is a remarkable measure of the size of Olympic Games. According to the Olympic Charter, it is limited to 10.500 athletes and 5000 officials. Recently, 28 different sports have been accepted for the Olympic programme, which leads to 302 sportive events during the Games. The number of athletes coming from different countries is representative for the global size and importance of the event, determining also the media interest of each Games edition.

Length of event: The specific length of the event is codified in the Olympic Charter “not to exceed sixteen days”. An Olympic Games edition consists also of consecutive Paralympic Games, whereas the last ones were held in twelve days in Athens 2004 ( The pre- and post-event phase is also an essential factor for the Olympics. Preparation for such an event starts already with the initial idea to bid, which can be announced more than one decade before the event starts.

Frequency: The Olympic Games are held every four years, which marks the beginning of a new Olympiad. Although the event has a circular rhythm, it can be marked as a “one-off event” (Hall, 1992) from a city’s perspective. According to the initial idea of Pierre de Coubertin, the Olympics should be held in different countries and cities all over the world to promote the Olympic Idea. Only Athens (1896, 2004), Paris (1900, 1924), Los Angeles (1932, 1984) and London (1908, 1948) had the privilege to host the Olympic Games more than once (

Location: Only cities can apply for the Olympics and have to ensure that all competitions will be held within the city. Only with the approval of the Executive Committee, it is possible to organize Olympic Events outside the city. This is mostly the case for football preliminaries and sailing events if the city has no access to the open sea.

Rule 35, Bye-law to Rule 35 (p.74):

“Any request to organise any event, discipline or other sports competition in any other city or location than the host city itself must be presented in writing to the IOC at the latest prior to the visit of the Evaluation Commission for candidate cities.”

Thus, Rule 35 ensures that Olympic Games are always assigned to cities and not to regions or nations and only cities can profit or suffer from Olympic Games occurred urban development. However, the Charter does not define the boundary of a city. It can be assumed that it naturally refers to the “metropolitan’s entire administrative territory including all the affiliated wards” (Liao, 2006, p. 155).

Transport: Six different types of transport infrastructure are mentioned in order to stage the Olympics: motorways, major urban arterial network, suburban rail, subway, and light rail. The airport is mentioned additionally and ensures the continental connection of a host city.

Market Segment: The various events do attract spectators and induce the so-called “Olympic Games Tourism” (Preuss, 2002). Because of the size of the event, the media interest is very high as well as the demand for workforce, including the large number of volunteers who help to stage the event successfully.

Administrative Coordination: The administrative responsible body is the OCOG, whose role was already described in section 4.2. The executive body of an OCOG includes normally IOC members of the country, high representatives of the NOC and at least one member of the host city. Most likely, the OCOG consists also of the representatives of the public authorities or leading figures, like former Olympic athletes of the host country.

Infrastructure: According to the latest bidding documents, Olympic Infrastructure consists of venues and facilties for the competition, the accomodation facilities for athletes, officials, media and spectators, special facilties for media and the city´s main transport infrastructure.

Table 5 The characteristics of Summer Olympics according to Hallmark event factors (based on Hall, 1992, p29; data compiled from IOC, 2007; IOC, 2007b)

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Factors summarized in this section give an idea of the size of the event and include relevant tasks for event planning. The next section will introduce the real “length of the event” necessary to be identified by event planners and urban planners.

4.4 Olympic Games Phases

As we have seen in section 2.3, another main factor of a mega sports event is its specific time-frame, starting from the bidding in a pre-event phase and ending in long-lasting impacts in a post-event phase. The following section gives an overview of the different phases of Olympic Games, whereas (n) is representing the year of staging the Games (Preuss, 2002).

a) Pre-Event Phase

- Idea to bid – NOC decision (n-11)
The starting point for the road towards hosting the Olympic Games is the decision of a city to apply for the Games. The decision to apply might be done by an “urban elite” (Furrer, 2002) and thus may succeed or fail through public support or protest. In this phase, money has to be spent for feasibility studies and consecutively for urgent projects due to identified deficits in the city’s structure (Preuss, 2002). A city can only submit its application to the IOC when it is firstly nominated by its representative NOC (IOC, 2007a). In case of several interested cities in one country, it is likely to happen that a national city competition for the applying status is held prior to the nomination by the NOC.
- NOC decision – IOC decision (n-9)
In this phase, the bidding cities have to prove their Olympic standards. Money is spent on image campaigns supporting the idea to bid, cost-benefit analyses and the preparation of the bid, which ends in the delivery of the bid-book. Construction of key facilities and staging of other international events may prove their highest motivation to stage the Olympic Games (Preuss, 2002).
- IOC decision (n-7)
In case of a successful bid, the host city has to sign the “host city contract” with IOC. The contract sets out the legal, commercial and financial rights and obligations of the IOC, the city and the NOC of the host country in relation to their specific Olympic Games. (IOC, 2007a).
- IOC decision (n-7) – Olympic Games (n)
These seven years are the road to the event while all investments and other preparatory activities are done required to successfully staging the Games. In terms of urban development, this means development of necessary infrastructure. Tourism could start to increase in some cases due to the international presence of the host city as well (Preuss, 2002).

b) Hosting Phase

This is the (comparatively short) time frame in which the Olympic Games held in a host city. According to the Olympic Charter (IOC, 2007a), this period should not exceed 16 days. The Games traditionally start and end with a ceremony held in the Olympic Stadium, which should also mark a cultural highlight of the event.

c) Post Event Phase

Olympic Games - ? (n+?)

After the closing ceremony, the post-event phase for a host city starts mainly in the use of Olympic-generated structure and initiation of follow-up projects. The “Olympic Legacy” represents the multidimensional impacts summarizing the development of the city through the Olympics in the last decade.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 7 Phases of Olympic Games (own illustration based on Mösch, 2006, p.4 and Preuss, 2002, p.8)

The event phases of Olympic Games show the long time frame of this type of mega sports event. Administrative preparations are needed more than ten years before the actual event to enter the bidding process for the Games. A period of two years is given for individual presentations of different world class cities which compete in order to get the right to stage the event. The decision of IOC is normally given seven years before the event to ensure that all necessary preparations can be done in time. After a short hosting period of 16 days, the post-event phase starts, while the impacts of the event can be evaluated the first time.

Chapter 4 summarizes the main character of the mega-sports event Olympic Games. The event has its historical roots in the ancient Greek, whereas the site of Olympia represents the first proof of the infrastructure impact of Olympic Games. The event owner, IOC, was found some 2000 years later and is a non-governmental organization privately founded with headquarters in Lausanne. Today, the event is a one-off multi sports event, held within 16 days in one city (“host city”) every four years and includes around 15000 athletes and officially. Three institutions are mainly involved in the administrative coordination of the event: IOC and NOC as part of the Olympic Movement and the OCOG to be established for each edition of the event responsible for Organization. The actual competition for the right to stage the event starts already eleven years before the Games. A central factor of the event is the different elements of infrastructure provided by the host city for the successful operation. The next chapter will define these elements of infrastructure and finally investigate its potential effects.

5 Olympic Urban Development

“When the Olympic flame has been quenched, everyone, and particularly the generations to come, will be left with a city transformed, with a new urban weft and a new loom.”

(Comité Coordinador Olímpico de Barcelona [COOB], 1992, p.21)

This chapter will focus on the relation of Olympic Games and Urban Development. The first section will define Olympic Urban Development by its infrastructure development ending with a theoretical model. The second section will go through the history of Olympic Games to get an idea of how the Olympic Cities have approached the opportunity of urban development through an event. A third section will define the main decisions relevant for the actual scale of Olympic Urban Development. Finally, a fourth section will define opportunities and threats and will illustrate them with examples from Olympic History again.

5.1 Definition

In Part I of the thesis, differentiates between three sorts of mega-sports event related to infrastructure according to SENTEDALPS (2005, p.24):

- Sports facilities
- General Infrastructure
- Accommodation

Table 5 presents the IOC Definition of infrastructure (IOC, 2007b, p.45) as:

- Competition venues
- Olympic Village(s)
- Media accommodation (hotels/village(s))
- Main Press Centre (MPC)
- International Broadcast Centre (IBC)
- Main hotel area
- Main transport infrastructure (airport(s), motorways, train/tram/metro lines etc.)

For an investigation, it is essential to re-structure the infrastructural categories presented so far to get one general understanding of the Olympic Urban Development. Similarly to what Liao (2006) defines as “direct-related” and “indirect-related”, we will differentiate two categories of infrastructure with respectively three different elements of infrastructure.

The first group of infrastructure belongs to the facilities necessary to operate the Games in terms of sports, accommodation for the Olympic family and media. This includes three elements specifically necessary for the Olympic Games and will be named in this thesis “Olympic Infrastructure”. The second group includes parts of the urban infrastructure necessary to operate the Games in terms of transport, accommodation for visitors and other infrastructure related to operations. This category of infrastructure will be named in this thesis as “Urban infrastructure”. We will explain them now in detail and explore main characteristics for the two groups.

5.1.1 Olympic Infrastructure

The first sort of infrastructure is defined by the following characteristics:

- necessary to operate the Olympic Games in terms of competitions, accommodation for the Olympic Family and media
- fully required by the IOC

Firstly, a number of facilities mandated by the IOC have to refer to the host city’s contract in order to successfully stage the Olympic events (Liao, 2006). According to the IOC Olympiad candidature manual of 2016, this includes competition and training facilities, the Olympic Village, the Main Press Centre (MPC) and the International Broadcast Centre (IBC) (Liao, 2006; IOC, 2008a). Sports facilities have to correspond to the latest standards to ensure fair conditions for all athletes. An Olympic Village, preferably clustered close to the sports venues, is necessary to accommodate the Olympic Family. Media facilities provide the infrastructure for media and have to be in line with the latest technological standards as well. We can summarize three elements:

- Sports facilities
Main Olympic Stadium, Aquatic Centre, indoor Halls,…
- Olympic Village(s)
Accommodation facilities for the Olympic Family including official and media villages
- Media facilities
International Broadcast Centre (IBC) and Main Press Centre (MPC)

5.1.2 Urban Infrastructure

The second sort of infrastructure is defined by the following characteristics:

- necessary to operate the Olympic Games in terms of transport flow and tourists
- partly required by IOC
- includes also infrastructure not ultimately necessary for operating the Olympics but supporting the quality of the place

Secondly, there is a ”less compulsory” infrastructure which can help to “operate the games effectively” (Liao, 2006). The most crucial element is an effective transport infrastructure to secure the flow of people during the event. In this context, tourist infrastructure is also necessary for hosting the number of people. Other urban infrastructure investments like water and sewage system might be necessary to fulfil the requirements given by IOC. A number of non-compulsory elements, like construction of recreational facilities or open spaces may occur parallel to investments in Olympic Infrastructure. We can summarize three categories:

- Transport Infrastructure
Motorways, urban arterial network, suburban rail, subway, light rail, airport
- Tourist Infrastructure
Hotels and tourist service
- Other Urban Infrastructure

Water and sewage system, power plant and grids, waste disposal stations, open space, parklands, cultural facilities,…

As we have already learned in the theoretical part, Preuss (2002) claims that cities differ in structures they provide and events differ in structures they demand. We have now defined what is required for the event Olympic Games, but have not defined what can be provided by a city. Some cities may already have a good infrastructural setting in order to meet the requirements and can use a wide extent of existing infrastructure. Sometimes, the Olympics are used as a booster for planned infrastructure, required by the event and the city. And some infrastructure has to be built additionally just for the sake of the Olympics. The following definition of the IOC (2007b, p.58) is useful in this sense:

a. Existing infrastructure, no permanent works required
b. Existing infrastructure, permanent works required
c. Planned infrastructure (irrespective of the Olympic Games)
d. Additional infrastructure required for the Olympic Games

As we will see later in the analytical part, this differentiation is required by IOC to define infrastructural setting and necessary investment of bidding cities. Definitions (a) and (b) represent the current infrastructure of the city, whereas for (b) some improvements are necessary to meet the standards of IOC. Definitions (c) and (d) represent the infrastructure a city will provide at the staging date of the Games. Planned infrastructure will be built irrespectively of the Games and may present the investments already stated in urban development plans. Additional infrastructure will only be provided if the city gets the right to stage the Games.


[1] Hall (1992) refers to event planners

[2] INTERREG is a Community Initiative aiming to stimulate interregional cooperation in the EU. SENTEDALPS (Sports Event Network for Tourism and Economic Development of the ALPine Space) was established under the INTERREG III period between 2000-2006. (European Commission, 2007)

[3] Example is based on the authors observation of a mega sports event held in its hometown in June 2008


ISBN (eBook)
1.8 MB
Institution / Hochschule
Technische Universität Wien – Architektur und Raumplanung, Studiengang Raumplanung
olympische spiele stadtentwicklung nachhaltigkeit bewerbungsprozess stadtplanung



Titel: Principles of Sustainable Urban Development in the Bidding Process for Olympic Games