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Expanding the legal common good via sustainable urban mobility

Carlos J.L. Balsas (Department of Geography and Environment, University of Denver, Denver, Colorado, USA and Belfast School of Architecture and the Built Environment, Ulster University, Belfast, UK)

Journal of Place Management and Development

ISSN: 1753-8335

Article publication date: 27 April 2023




The purpose of this paper is to examine the 2015 Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Road World Cycling Championship in Richmond, Virginia.


An array of eclectic methods included in situ witness observations of several of the races, 21 semi-structured random interviews and multiple discussions with elements of UCI, the city of Richmond’s planners, residents and business owners during and after the championship in fall 2015.


This paper has uncovered five findings: First, the material investment was considerably smaller than that of other events (common good criterion CGC i – good governance); second, pre-planning was critical to successfully hosting the event; third, this event included not only two entities as one would expect at first glance, but many (common good criterion CGC ii – good management); fourth, a filière approach to community service and the exploitation of clustered thematic activities was of critical importance to successfully hosting the 2015 UCI Road World Cycling Championship; and fifth, this event enabled the opportunity to market other city and regional assets (common good criterion CGC iii – good outcomes).

Practical implications

Cities hoping to bid for events ought to consider hosting unique events such as road championships. Those cities will benefit from careful event pre-planning, responsible event hosting and post-event legacies in the form of socio-economic and mindscape memories.

Social implications

Bidding and pre-event planning is increasingly seen as an opportunity to locate, create and develop support for common good urban projects, which will remain valuable after the event is over or which will need to be built in spite of the bid’s result.


This study fills an unresearched gap on the impact of events on a city’s future non-motorized sustainable transportation priorities.



An earlier draft of this paper was presented at the 4th World Planning Schools Congress (WPSC 2016) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 3–8, 2016. The author would like to thank Anne-Marie Broudehoux, Fernanda Sanchez, Ann Forsyth, Danield Piatkowski and various anonymous reviewers for their assertive questions and insightful remarks and suggestions. The author gratefully acknowledges two UUP Individual Development Awards (IDA) at the University at Albany, State University of New York.


Balsas, C.J.L. (2023), "Expanding the legal common good via sustainable urban mobility", Journal of Place Management and Development, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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