- Monitoring Winter Olympic Games: the case of Torino 2006    click here to open paper content33 kb
by    Guala, Chito Alessandro | guala.chito@tin.it   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
Monitoring Winter Olympic Games of Torino 2006: planning the heritage through a social indicator system file and a longitudinal survey on population.
Monitoring Winter Olympic Games of Torino 2006
by Alessandro Chito Guala (University of Turin, Italy)

This contribution could be interesting for many reasons:

1. Our research group in Torino has been working for two years, checking the international literature on past Olympic Games and their effects

2. We organized an international meeting in Torino (May 21, 2001: ''How a city can win or loose Olympics''), with the participation of well known experts in economic, urban and cultural effects of the Games

3. We are organizing a monitorage system, based also on previous experiences, that can be managed (and improved) for all Mega Events, non only for Olympics

Abstract of the paper

The international literature on Olympic Games shows a large differentiation of effects; many studies underline that Mega Events can be considered a ''cathalist'' of urban change, but this is not automatic: if we consider some past experiences, we can see that Olympics have been utilized in very different ways. We can distinguish:
- Olympics as occasion for an international legitimation (Korea, 1988)
- Olympics as occasion of promoting a wide area non covered by big tourisme routes (Norway) trough the success of a small place (Lillehammer 1994)
- Olympics as occasion of economic success and ''privatization'' of the Games (Atlanta 1996)
- Olympics as occasion of urban renewall and citymarketing (Barcelona 1992)
- Olympics as occasion of creating ''green Games'' (Sydney 2000)
- Olympics as occasion of reconciliation between cultures (again Sidney 2000, specially considering the aborigen groups condition)
Not always it's possible considering Olympics from an unique point of view: for example, Atlanta economic success is non correlated to a successfull public transportation system or to the recovery of some blocks in downtown; in some cases Olympics left an heavy heritage in term of financig deficit, some times we find big buildings difficult to be managed or too expensive for the local community; some sport utilities have been dismantled years after the Games, or have been underutilized.... And some cases are affected by controversial evaluation: for example, Sidney 2000 is not simple, if we consider the debate held after the Plays about the real connotation of the Games (really or apparently green ?).
In these last years an incresing number of researches have began to underline that non only the big events must be planned very carefully many years in advance, but that also the ''heritage management'' has to be programmed, with high accuracy.
This is why, looking forward to 2006 Winter Olympics (assigned to Torino and three alpine valleys) the local administrations, Chamber of Commerce and Torino Incontra (a special society devoted to meeting and citymarketing) asked the collaboration of Torino University and Politechnics to create a sort of economic and cultural ''Observatory'' on 2006.
And the research group have been developing a monitorage strategy to check
step by step what Torino Organizing Committee is been planning on Torino and the Olympic venuses.
The ''tool'' of the Observatory are:
- a social indicators system, to be implemented each every year with different secondary data sources (economics, tourisme, social stratification and mobility, job market, cultural consumptions...)
- a longitudinal survey on population of Torino and the valleys, with the aim of creating a implementable system file that could allow a comparison between the metropolitan area of Torino and the valleys.
Other researches (on environment, logistics, transportation plan...) have been conducted and are to be planned till 2006: these topics are not considered in this paper, and will be only quoted.
As a brief conclusion, we are considering the Observatory as an instrument able to monitorage the decision making system, the concrete policies developed in the Piedmont system, the attitudes of population toward the Games; from a general point of view, we are cosidering 2006 Olympics in Torino non only a cathalist of urban change, but also an occasion of differentiating the local economy and grouth model: as many old industrialized cities, Torino is facing a new future, based on the traditional economic structure, but also open to culture and tourisme;
so Torino could try to overcome the stereotype of the ''Fiat Town'', and to
create a new development model, as experienced by many ''postfordist cities''.

Olympics, Local development, Monitoring Mega Events
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