Meeting sustainability challenges of mega‐event flagships

Ying Deng (Department of Civil Engineering, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China)
S.W. Poon (Department of Real Estate and Construction, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China)

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management

ISSN: 0969-9988

Publication date: 4 January 2013



A mega‐event flagship (MEF) refers to a popular instrument developed for staging a mega‐event and catalyzing area‐based urban regeneration. Despite its lasting appeal and controversial nature, insufficient research on its critical early stage has been done to provide useful analysis. When the clients lack appropriate capabilities to confront sustainability challenges, MEFs may end up functioning poorly in the post‐event era and even hindering the progress of intended renewals. The purpose of this study is to enhance MEF clients’ capabilities in meeting sustainability challenges at the early stage and ultimately producing responsible MEFs of enduring worth.


The multiple‐case study method was adopted due to its widely recognized reliance on multiple sources to facilitate in‐depth analyses. Data were collected through archival records, documentation, direct observation and participant observation.


By proposing a comprehensive development framework based on the findings of multiple‐case studies, this paper corrects a misunderstanding of such a development being an end in itself, and contributes new insights into the definitional early stage of MEFs.

Social implications

The fact that MEFs are a global phenomenon as well as a local undertaking leads to a need to develop a database of useful lessons and critical decisions from previous MEFs, to establish a best practice targets system in future research.


As an initial attempt, this paper lays the groundwork for research on MEFs by investigating how mega‐event hosts have prepared in meeting its sustainability challenges.



Deng, Y. and Poon, S. (2013), "Meeting sustainability challenges of mega‐event flagships", Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. 20 No. 1, pp. 46-62.

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