Planning mega-event built legacies - A case of Expo 2010

Ying Deng, S. W. Poon, Hon Wan Edwin Chan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Mega-events are popular catalysts for launching area-based urban renewal. However, their built legacies are problematic due to a lack of planning. Besides a much-needed shift in mindset, legacy planning methodology holds the key. This chronic issue is gaining renewed attention with the recent rise of new-generation hosts such as China where massive event-led construction was fast-tracked in a top-down fashion. What remains less understood is the impact and implications of such a forceful paradigm on legacy planning and urban renewal. This paper aims to address this gap with an in-depth case study of Expo 2010 Shanghai China. The central theme is to investigate how this paradigm has been adopted to a previous dockland selected as the Expo 2010 site and a catalyst for city-branding oriented urban renewal. Data was sourced from 2004 to 2015 from personal observations, strategic policies, planning documents, photo documentation, and meetings and interviews. This study identifies both the merits and drawbacks of this controversial paradigm to caution about its mixed impact on mega-event built legacies. It is concluded that future event cities should shift their mindset from super-developers to guardians of built legacies, and strike a balance between the top-down and bottom-up thinking. A new categorization centering on the legacy planning process is proposed, with guidelines to improve legacy planning methodology for future event cities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-177
Number of pages15
JournalHabitat International
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016


  • Built legacy
  • Legacy planning methodology
  • Mega-event strategy
  • Top-down paradigm
  • Urban renewal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urban Studies


Dive into the research topics of 'Planning mega-event built legacies - A case of Expo 2010'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this