Now that the Olympic games are over, what can be done with the stadiums and guest houses that were built? Dr. Yawei Chen (Architecture) studies Olympic legacies.
When the Olympic Games were re-launched in the late nineteenth century, the event was not approached from the perspective of city development. The role of the Olympic Games as a catalyst for urban development and regeneration was first recognized when Barcelona was preparing for its Olympics in 1992. By hosting the Games, Barcelona was able to boost its economic growth, enhance its image, and transform itself into a globally competitive city.
In recent years, however, researchers and policymakers have also become more aware of the downside of the catalyst effect embodied in it. Besides the ultimately underused venues, facilities, and Olympic-related infrastructures, host cities are often faced with substantial debts and operating costs of Olympic venues in post-Games periods that take years to pay off.
In her research Dr. Yawei Chen, of the Department of Management in the Built Environments, tries to find answers to the questions: how do Olympic Games foster urban development, what needs to be done to ensure effective planning of stadia and what are specific recommendations to prevent social-burdening stadia and help making stadia more versatile and useful for the community?
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