Resident input and mega-event legacies

Environmental concerns

Authored by: Kyriaki Kaplanidou

Routledge Handbook of Sport and the Environment

Print publication date:  August  2017
Online publication date:  July  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138666153
eBook ISBN: 9781315619514
Adobe ISBN:


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In the past 15 years, the prominence of the terms Green Games and environmental friendly Games can be found in a number of media articles and coverage related to Olympic and Paralympic Games bidding, management, delivery, and legacy (Falt, 2006; IOC, 2014a). As Casper and Pfahl (2015) noted, sustainability and the environmental concern “are becoming a part of the strategic fabric of sport operations” (p. 11). Indeed, looking at the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) factsheet about sport and the environment, concerted efforts have been made to increase attention to this matter in order to integrate it with strategic planning associated with event impacts and legacies (IOC, 2014a). The importance of protecting the environment was reflected in its incorporation in the Olympic Charter in 1996 (IOC, 2014a). The main idea of this inclusion was to encourage support of and create concern about issues related to the environment of Olympic Games host cities, which would have to start paying attention to sustainable development. According to VanWynsberghe (2015), the working definition of sustainability includes three spheres (i.e., economic, social, and environmental) and describes how to maximize positive impacts while reducing the negative ones. Sustainability efforts can relate to goals set by sport event bid committees in order to achieve certain policy objectives. Within the sustainability umbrella, environmental program interventions are one of the ambitious goals bid committees create in order to surpass previous host cities’ environmental plans and goals and put their own mark in the Olympic Movement (Pentifallo & VanWynsberghe, 2012).

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