How cities should approach global events like the Olympics

It's not about what happens for two weeks during a global event, but what happens in the next 20 years; four urban experts discuss
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With the world looking forward to the London 2012 Olympics, four urban experts discuss the best way for a city to approach such a massive global event. 

Richard Sennett of New York University and LSE explains that world events are positive for cities if they leave a lasting legacy. Race riots followed a year after the Games in Los Angeles, and the current financial crisis in Athens indicates it hasn't wound up with much either. "It's only worthwhile for a city to attract a big global event if it uses the event to achieve a goal that is far more complex and far more important for the city than the event itself," adds Saskia Sassen of Columbia University, New York. 

The 1992 Olympics in Barcelona helped to make the city cool and London faces the same potential and opportunity. As Ricky Burdett, Director of LSE Cities and the Urban Age programme told Phaidon.com: "It's not about what happens next year, for two weeks in London, but what happens in the next 20 years."

 

Living in the Endless City explores issues that affect cities and the way we live across the globe in the twenty-first century. 


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