This HOMEE research report investigates the nexus between mega-events and heritage by observing the case of the Matera-Basilicata 2019 European Capital of Culture before and during the celebration. As the oldest continuously inhabited city in Europe, Matera represents in many ways a heritage-rich city and shows the complexity of this heritage/event relationship. The case of the Matera-Basilicata 2019 ECoC clearly demonstrates the significant impact that events like the ECoC can have on cities, even before carrying out the yearlong program – as occurred in Matera after it won the bid in 2014. While the mega-event planning and celebration undeniably contributed to improvements (in terms of accessibility, public spaces, etc.), the impressive heritage of the city was not widely integrated with the ECoC interventions and nonetheless absorbed most of the visitors’ attention.
Harvey Molotch and Davide Ponzini were interviewed on their new book “The New Arab Urban” and broadcasted on Zelig TV in the science communication program “Darwin”.
On March 13, 2019 Harvey Molotch and Davide Ponzini took part to the BBC live radio show “Thinking Allowed” that was dedicated to the topic of Spectacular Cities, based on their new book.
The world’s tallest building is in Dubai and the 2022 World Cup in soccer will be played in fabulous Qatar facilities. But what role do the sensational cities of the Arabian Peninsula play in urban development across the Earth? Laurie Taylor talks to Harvey Molotch, Professor of Sociology at New York University and to Davide Ponzini , Associate Professor of Urban Planning at Politecnico di Milano, Italy. Also, Natalie Koch, Associate Professor of Geography at Syracuse University, asks why autocrats in resource rich nations build spectacular new capital cities.
Podcast available here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m00035p8
Molotch H., Ponzini D. (2019), Dubai e le nuove urbanità del Golfo Persico, Feltrinelli Foundation website, http://fondazionefeltrinelli.it/dubai-e-le-nuove-urbanita-del-golfo-persico/
Ponzini D. (2016) “The Politics of Starchitecture in Abu Dhabi” (photographs by Michele Nastasi) CityLab (online site of the Atlantic magazine), December 15, 2016 [excerpt from the book Starchitecture].