This paper aims to seek a greater understanding of the conceptualization of mega-event flagship (MEF) development as a point of departure to forge the much-needed organizational capacities in these regions. An MEF constitutes a temporarily themed venue for a mega-event and a transforming force on corresponding urban renewal. The unfailing demand for MEFs from emerging hosts after historical failures in the West draws attention to a glaring weakness of extant literature in wanting of evidence-based case studies.
Due to the explorative nature of research and the context-dependent complexities, the case study method is used for studying the case of Theme Pavilion – one of the four key flagships led by Expo 2010 to catalyze an ambitious urban renewal in Shanghai, China. The focus is on its conceptualization process (2004-2007) where different copying strategies were tested and consolidated to facilitate the post-event transformation. Data were collected mainly through participant observation in that duration.
For future Expo hosts, exhibition center developers and the event industry, the study concludes with eight constructive lessons, namely, clustering strategy, different integration, pre-post orientation, diversification for adaptation, development by stage, flexible mindset, the end crowns the work and building local capacity.
Given the qualitative nature of the study, some results may not be fully generalizable. While showing the possibility of sustaining MEF development given the right coping strategy, it also reveals implementation difficulties and emphasizes the importance of continued case studies.
The study will contribute fresh insights into forging better strategies to cope with transformation difficulties of MEF development and building greater capacity to accomplish affiliated renewals and other significantly comparable urban projects in emerging economies.
Deng, Y. and Wah Poon, S. (2014), "Mega-event flagships in transformation: learning from Expo 2010 Shanghai China", Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, Vol. 12 No. 4, pp. 440-460. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEDT-10-2012-0045Download as .RIS
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