The future of mega-events, post-COVID-19 pandemic: The resilient path towards legacy creation?

Yawei Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
27 Downloads (Pure)


Mega-events have been explored by cities for urban reimaging and urban transformation processes. Due to their scale and catalytic effects, mega-events offer great opportunities for cities to showcase their local culture and create opportunities for their local economy, as well as the tourism and retail sectors, while also serving as catalysts for urban regeneration. The current COVID-19 pandemic has created a global crisis of unprecedented scale. Several extreme measures have been deployed to avoid contagion risk, including city lockdowns, subjecting residents to COVID-19 quarantine and social distancing, the closure of tourism attractions and the retail sector, as well as travel restrictions. This global crisis created a temporary shock to large-scale travel, the tourism sector and mass gathering, which resulted in the cancellation or postponement of nearly all mega-events in 2020. This paper identified the various challenges faced by event organisers during the COVID-19 pandemic and examined how relevant stakeholders addressed event risks and uncertainties. This paper suggests the incorporation of resilience in strategies for event legacy creation. Mega-events must incorporate adaptability and flexibility in their design, as well as event legacy planning and capacity building, to address the vulnerability and disturbances that future mega-events may encounter.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)168-178
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Review for Spatial Planning and Sustainable Development
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Covid-19 pandemic
  • Legacy creation
  • Mega-events
  • Resilience


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