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Managing the Impacts of Mega-Events: Towards Sustainable Legacies (CARNIVAL)


European Commission
FP7 Marie Curie International Research Staff Exchange Scheme (IRSES)

Total value of project


Value to Coventry University


Project team

Dr Ian Brittain


Coventry University, UK


Technical University of Munich, Germany

Carnival logo with stars


Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa; North Carolina State University, USA

Duration of project

01/01/2013 - 31/12/2017

Project overview

Dr Ian Brittain (Co-ordinator and Co-PI) and Dr Eva Kipnis (Co-PI) successfully delivered the final report to the European Union in January 2018. The research aimed to investigate what factors impact upon the planned and unplanned legacy outcomes of mega-events and their implications for stakeholders.

The Centre for Business in Society at Coventry University led a four-year European Commission funded research group investigating the factors that impact upon the planned and unplanned legacy outcomes of sporting and non-sporting mega-events and their implications for stakeholders aimed at strengthening the measurable positive legacy impacts of future events, helping to pinpoint and downplay the impact of possible negative legacy impacts. This was a Marie Curie International Research Staff Exchange Scheme (IRSES) project aimed at the sharing of knowledge and experience between partners.

Project objectives

  1. To examine multiple contextual understandings of the impacts of mega-events, including social, economic, cultural, political, environmental and technological impacts, by recognising research synergies between partners and developing an extensive research portfolio of activity and outputs.
  2. To understand, through comparative analyses of impacts of different types of mega-events best practices in defining and managing mega-event impacts at future events.
  3. To establish an active network of expertise on impacts of mega-events and realising potential impacts in the EU, the Americas and South Africa, through conferences, workshops and other activities.
  4. To provide opportunities for research on cutting-edge sustainable management practices, to ensure that future potential mega-event impacts (such as economic, social, cultural, technological impacts) are maximised.

The research focused upon all three stages of the event process (pre-event, the event itself and post-event), with a range of issues and impacts to be considered at both the micro and macro level and looked at both sporting and non-sporting events using a case study approach.

  • The project sought to identify best practices which enable potential impacts to be realised in light of hosting such events. This will enhance knowledge and understanding, as well as encourage stakeholders to adopt sustainable and responsible mega-event management guidelines. The results of this project have the potential to provide tools to ensure the maximum return on investment for hosts in bidding for hosting mega-events, taking into consideration the type of event and a wide range of contextual influences, such as culture, time, political and economic factors. We took a trans-national comparative approach to examine cultural differences in managing impacts of mega-events, primarily focusing on our project partners in South Africa, Brazil, the United Kingdom, the United States and Germany.

    • An advanced conceptualisation of the multi-faceted nature of the legacy phenomenon, which is highlighted in over eighty peer reviewed journal articles and book chapters published thus far, as well as over one hundred conference presentations, with three of these presentations winning awards for best research.
    • A book was also published by Routledge, entitled Legacies and Mega-Events: Fact or Fairy Tales?, made up of contributions from international experts (including project partners), as well as shorter chapters written by experienced and early career researchers from the project.
    • A key element of the knowledge exchange within the project was the organisation of six PhD schools (three in South Africa and one each in Austria, the UK and the USA), providing the opportunity for staff and particularly PhD students to demonstrate their work to an international audience and receive feedback in a supportive environment.
    • In order to mark the publication of the book and the end of the project, a one day symposium was held at Coventry University, attracting an international audience and leading to some very interesting discussions as well as on-going collaborations.
    • Continued collaboration between a number of the project partners including journal articles and further bids.
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