The Olympic Games constitute a mega-event on an almost unimaginable scale. Sport, the economy, city marketing, urban development and even regional and national development are fundamentally affected. Organizing the event can strengthen the identity of a country and put major spatial (planning) issues on the agenda – even catalyse their resolution.
At the beginning of the new millennium, our high standard of living combined with stressful, competitive work patterns, improved medical science and an increase in average Body Mass Index (BMI) has emphasised importance of healthcare, leisure and sports in our daily lives. The threat of obesity and the associated financial impact on our healthcare systems have spurred government interest in sports, which in turn highlights the need for more and better sports facilities.
Located on the peripheries of our cities these facilities are not well integrated within the existing urban fabric. If the benefits of an active lifestyle become widely accepted perhaps the demand for more proximate and integrated facilities will grow? This demand could lead to better architecture and a more sports-minded city. A city that does not only possess a mix of sports amenities but is based on them! A cite sportive, not only financed by the public sector but by health insurance companies and the health industry. A truly healthy city!
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