Mega-events as a response to poverty reduction: the 2010 FIFA world cup and its urban development implications
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This paper reflects on the trajectory that urban development associated with the 2010 Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup has taken in South Africa. The argument suggests that a unique moment has been lost regarding the ability of the World Cup to serve as a catalyst for urban development. This notion is supported by a digest of the international literature which takes a cautious stance in its assessment of the benefits of mega-events. Hence, this paper posits that it is unlikely that poverty alleviation, as a result of fast-tracking South Africa's urban development impetus, will constitute a significant outcome of the World Cup. Rather, development benefits in cities are likely to be fairly circumscribed. Legacy, the paper argues, should therefore advance beyond an exclusively pro-poor language. In this regard, vigorous public debate is required to arrive at a national consensus of what kind of legacy the 2010 FIFA World Cup is realistically able to achieve.
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