In the past, many cities used mega-events to support capital and revenue investments and boost tourism while harnessing their competitiveness on a global scale. Until recently, the emphasis has been placed by and large on the creation of new infrastructural components, new stadiums and other public facilities to host events. In many instances today, on the contrary, mega-event organizers have opted for the re-use of existing facilities, the conversion of inner-city areas and the regeneration of neighborhoods. For heritage-rich European cities, this shift in paradigm represents both an opportunity and a threat. The HOMEE project brings together leading research centers working in the fields of cultural heritage preservation and mega-event planning, in close contact with key institutions and policy officers who have already had or will have direct responsibility for planning and implementing mega-events in Europe, from the local to the international level. The project will investigate past events and develop new policy tools for dealing with the emerging opportunities and threats in planning and implementing mega-events in heritage-rich cities.

Year 1 Activities and Results

In March/April 2019 the project promoted the international seminar series “Cultural Mega-events and Urban Heritage: Threats and Opportunities for European Cities” at Politecnico di Milano. Full program available here

In June 2019, thanks to the collaboration with the University of Basilicata at Matera and with the ISCR/MiBACT, the research partners completed the “Europa\Matera: Capitali culturali in dialogo” workshops with local experts and policy makers during the year of celebration of the Matera Basilicata 2019 European Capital of Culture. See the program here.

In September 2019, the HOMEE researchers presented the first-year outcomes and engaged with Polish Associate Partners and policy makers at the 5th Heritage Forum of Central Europe. See more here. In particular, this event served as the occasion to launch the first research outputs:

Literature Review of Mega-events Addressing Cultural Heritage Issues (download here)

– National Case Studies: Report Briefs  (download here).

Year 2 Activities and Results

In October 2019, at the start of the second year, the HOMEE research project and first-year outputs were presented at the ENCATC Annual Congress in Dijon in the poster session (download here).

In November 2019, the HOMEE Project was presented at the UNEeCC Conference on Cultural Resilience: physical artifacts, intangible attributes, natural risks  (download the paper here).

In December 2019, the HOMEE Project contributed a video clip (dowload here) describing the project and outputs to the JHEP2 Final Conference in Rome 11th December 2019.

In March 2020, the HOMEE Project published part of its findings in the edited volume:

– Mega-events and heritage: The experience of five European cities (download here).  

On April 3, 2020 the HOMEE Project held the “Mega-events in Heritage-rich Cities” online workshop (initially intended to take place in Pafos, Cyprus, it has been reprogrammed to take place virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic). This one-day workshop engaged about twenty experts and policy makers from across Europe (representing also the Associate Partners of the HOMEE project) in a discussion regarding the issues of governance, planning, urban effects and long-term legacy of mega-events. It was the first step in drafting a “Charter for Mega-events in Heritage-rich Cities”. Sneska Quaedvlieg-Mihailovic (Secretary General of Europa Nostra) gave the keynote speech “Mega-events in Heritage-rich Cities: A Challenge for Europe”

In April/May 2020 the HOMEE Project promoted the international seminar series “Mega-events and the City: Reflections and Lessons from the Expo, Olympics and European Capital of Culture” in cooperation with Urban@it, with the support from DAStU Politecnico di Milano, Urban Center of the City of Milan, and Triennale Milano. The video of all the speeches are available here. Full program available here.

The June 2020 issue of the ENCATC Magazine features one article regarding the HOMEE project and the launch of the charter for mega-events in heritage-rich cities. Download the magazine issue here.

Project Leader: Davide Ponzini (Politecnico di Milano); Research Partners: Franco Bianchini (University of Hull), Julia Georgi (Neapolis University Pafos), Jacek Purchla (International Cultural Center)

The research project HOMEE is funded under the European call “JPICH Heritage in Changing Environments

[photograph in this page by Anthony Delanoix]