What is the legacy of the FIFA World Cup?: A CityTalk Review

Copyright Marcello Casal Jr

Copyright Marcello Casal Jr

The aim of this month’s #CityTalk debate was to reflect on how communities may change in the long-term as a result of hosting large-scale events.  This year’s 2014 World Cup in Brazil presents a prime opportunity for South Africa to reflect how the 2010 Cup has affected the country.

What legacy has the World Cup left upon South Africa, and has the country benefitted as a result?   Reflections are particularly pertinent considering many of the same challenges and experiences are faced by Brazil for this year’s Cup. What does a country learn from hosting such an event, and how can it use these experiences to benefit its legacy for the years to come? Selected responses from our participants below weigh their thoughts on these issues:

Q1: #WorldCup2014 is underway! In what way can cities and communities benefit from hosting large events like these? 

Large events are an opportunity to speed investments and attract external funding . . . [for example] by enjoying a better accessibility with more public transport. -Mohamed Mezghani (MedMezghani)

I live in east London. The Olympic investment has transformed our area. -Joe Peach(joepeach)

Don’t allow FIFA take over… -Jessy Lipperts (Jessystravel)

The 1995 Rugby World Cup literally brought SA’s rainbow nation closer together after Apartheid. -Rouen Smit (OSIOISO)


Q2: Who should be involved in the discussion when cities decide to tender for mega events like the World Cup?

Residents, local business owners, people from the state / national capital, the hosting org. Get everyone on same page. -Urbanist Dispatch (urbdispatch)

Urban designers, architects, engineers, and those guys in charge of the budget. -Cape Town Rants (CapeTown_Rants)

The decision often needs to rest with leadership once a broad part of society has been engaged with. -Rashiq Fataar (RashiqFataar)


Q3: What are some of the best ways of integrating stadiums into urban spaces? Any examples?


If you look at the design of #Australia‘s Olympic stadium. Structural system could be deconstructed and re-used at schools. -Cape Town Rants (CapeTown_Rants)

Emirates Stadium integrates with housing right up against its edge. Urban Integration? -Shaakira Chohan (shaakira_chohan) 


Q4: Does World Cup investment actually trickle down? Any participants from previous host regions experienced this?

It does, but often fails to bring in $ to offset the costs. Will brazil get $11b in econ. impact from this? Doubt it. Also the question of the burden of stadium maintenance if the facilities are underused in the future. -Urbanist Dispatch (urbdispatch)

But even with the slow trickling down. It brings *deadlines* that brings other benefits: transport, etc. –Rouen Smit (OSIOISO)


Q5: Are developing countries being given enough opportunities to host events like the World Cup and the Olympics? 

1st World Cup in Uruguay, cups in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico. However, lack of world cups in Africa, SE Asia -Drew Reed (the_drewreed)

Opportunity should not be confused with ability. All cities can choose to bid. -Future Cape Town

Q6: Spending money on the World Cup, or spending money on education and housing. What would you choose?

Yup, however a lot of talk about the misuse of resources, let’s hope the best for the Qatar 2022. -Alejandro Echeverria (thisbigcityes)


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