Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development at the World Urban Forum in Medellin Colombia

19 JUNE 2014

WU7 Flyer

The 7th UN-Habitat world Urban Forum was organised in Medellin Colombia between 5-11 April 2014. Over 22,000 participants from 140 countries attended the various activities organised during the forum. These included a networking event organised by Dr. Ramin Keivani on behalf of the Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development and Oxford Brookes University.

The event focused on the urban legacy aspect of mega-events which has been rather under researched in comparison to impact. The debate was started with short talks by a distinguished panel of speakers comprising Dr. Adrianna Allen from University College London, Nicholas You Honorary Chair of the World Urban Campaign, Dr. Edmundo Werna International Labour Organisation and Demian Garcia Castro form the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and the Popular Committee for the World Cup and the Olympics. The speakers drew on experiences from London, Shanghai, Beijing and Rio de Janeiro among others to present different perspectives on potential legacy benefits and disadvantages of both sporting and non-sporting mega events.

Over 50 participants including the Brazil country representative for UNICEF and the Red Cross attended the meeting and contributed to a lively debate that identified major legacy constraints of sporting mega events due to their increasing commercialisation that crates the space for large scale planning by exception ultimately promoting private property and land interests over public benefits. At the same time discussion also highlighted opportunities for more sustainable and socially inclusive legacies for promoting cities particularly with non-sport events and modernising institutional and legal frameworks for protecting labour and child rights due to increased collaboration with international agencies as a result of the increased attention generated by such events.