Charter for Mega-events in Heritage-rich Cities

Launched in 2021 as the final outcome of the HOMEE Research Project, the Charter for Mega-events in Heritage-rich Cities provides principles and recommendations that can help cities take advantage of the opportunities offered by mega-events and mitigate their risks. The Charter explores issues ranging from the new uses and physical stresses that mega-events can introduce in historic areas to changes in the understanding of heritage spaces. It investigates the challenges for the local governance of mega-events.
Local policymakers can refer to the Charter’s recommendations from the initial bidding stages for cultural mega-events like Capital/City of Culture programmes and throughout the planning of the event and its legacy. More broadly, the Charter can be useful for organising other large cultural events, festivals and sport mega-events that interact with cities’ tangible and intangible heritage.
The Charter consists of 13 key principles structured within the four themes: context matters,
planning legacies, inclusive governance, communities & identities. The 13 principles represent the Charter’s core values. They are supported by more detailed guidelines and recommendations aimed at policymakers, as well as event organisers, heritage officials and the local community.

Urban heritage and mega-events: The case of Matera-Basilicata 2019 European Capital of Culture

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.

Molotch and Ponzini on BBC – “Thinking Allowed”

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.

From the program’s webpage:

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: