Doha and its Sports City: an assessment of the long-term legacies of the Aspire Zone

Azzali, Simona (2016) Doha and its Sports City: an assessment of the long-term legacies of the Aspire Zone. In: QScience Proceedings (2016) From: Qatar Foundation Annual Research Conference 2016, 3-4 May 2016, Doha, Qatar.

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A growing phenomenon, which is gaining attention worldwide, is the rapid diffusion of themed-sport areas as legacies of mega-sporting events. An example of it is offered by the city of Doha. On the occasion of 2006 Asian Games, the capital of Qatar faced some significant urban transformations. The principal legacy left after staging the event is the implementation of the Aspire Zone, Doha's Sports City. Is this legacy beneficial in a long-term perspective? What is the value added to the city and its inhabitants? This study attempts at providing insight into the potential offered by themed-sport areas as legacies of mega events, and it aims at evaluating the rationale for the realization of sports dedicated zones, analysing their impact from a physical and social perspective. Specifically, the research offers an investigation into the long-term cost-benefit effect of the Aspire Zone, Doha Sports City, by conducting a post-occupancy evaluation. Conclusions show that there is a potential to realize sports-oriented area that are fully integrated into cities, but the design of a comprehensive and long-term plan is needed. Moreover, providing a sports city with a variety of different activities and functions will contribute to attracting different types of users and avoid occasional use. Mega-events have existed for a very long time, but it is only since the last century that they have been perceived and adopted as tools of urban transformation. Many scholars define the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome as the first example of event intentionally used for urban redevelopment purposes, while the Olympic Village set for the 1972 Olympics in Munich is considered an early case of event led sports city, as the village was concentrated in one main area (the Olympic Park), instead of being spread around the city, and as it was specifically designed for delivering urban leisure. Both Rome and Munich opened the way, and nowadays cities are increasingly competing and bidding to secure the hosting of mega-events, attracted by their potential urban regeneration effect. However, results are not encouraging, and literature shows how difficult is to transform event sites into well-integrated areas inside cities.

Item ID: 54639
Item Type: Conference Item (Abstract / Summary)
Keywords: Doha, sports city, mega events, legacy planning
Funders: Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF)
Projects and Grants: QNRF GSRA1-1-1119-13007
Date Deposited: 31 Oct 2018 00:14
FoR Codes: 12 BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN > 1205 Urban and Regional Planning > 120508 Urban Design @ 50%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1605 Policy and Administration > 160514 Urban Policy @ 50%
SEO Codes: 87 CONSTRUCTION > 8701 Construction Planning > 870105 Urban Planning @ 100%
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