- The City as a weak Partner: Atlanta Olympics and Urban Revitalization    click here to open paper content501 kb
by    Juloya, Dino | DinoJuloya@yahoo.com   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
This Case Study traces the events surrounding the stages of the Atlanta Olmympics
French and Disher (JAPA, summer 1997) identified four types of benefits from mega events: (a) the legacy of facilities built for the event; (b) short term economic benefits; (c) marketing opportunities; and (d) urban revitalization. Atlanta reaped all these benefits but with much less success with urban revitalization. When the Olympic games came to Atlanta in 1996, the mayor remarked that the games would “Uplift the people of Atlanta and fight poverty in the process.” He hoped the games would leverage its resources to revitalize its distressed neighborhoods. Unfortunately, the efforts to use the games for neighborhood revitalization was co-opted by private/business interests and redirected to business development agenda.
This case study traces the events surrounding the staging of the Atlanta Olympics. It focuses primarily on the interplay of the diverse priorities and interests of (a) residents, (b) businesses, and (c) politicians and officials of the City. The relationships among these players and the consequence of their conflicting agendas are examined with the goal of finding ways to better accommodate the concerns of affected neighborhoods. With the City of Atlanta as a case study, this research provides a detailed summary of the barriers and opportunities for neighborhood organizations and public agencies in furthering their agendas. Since the 1984 Olympics, private and quasi-private entities have taken control of the staging of the Games. Local neighborhoods take the brunt of the destructive effects of staging mega events, yet their concerns are often disregarded. This paper evaluates the significance of resident vigilance in using mega events to leverage the redevelopment of their neighborhoods and in the process create a more lasting benefits to the local residents of the City.
It concludes with suggestions on how public agencies and neighborhood organizations can strengthen their standing and have a greater voice in the reshaping of their neighborhoods when mega events occur in their cities. This includes discussion of experiences from more successful cities.
Atlanta Olympics
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