With the capitalist transformation from Fordist-Keynesianism to neoliberalism, mega-events such as Olympic Games and World Exposition have increasingly been incorporated into urban development plan to boost urban renewal. Seeking the role of mega-event in urban transformation and its related effects have practical significance as mega-event movements have become a worldwide phenomenon. Although the profile of world fairs is reduced and does not have the international impacts that they used to have, Shanghai Expo 2010, the first Expo ever held in a developing country is pinned hope on as the “Turn to Save the World Expo” and is unusually ambitious to bring opportunities in urban transformation. While much attention has been paid to how mega-events can be used in tourism development in previous literature, this research links mega-event to urban development. Specifically, it reviews planning history before Expo 2010, addresses how a mega-event is integrated into city’s overall transformation strategy and what possible challenges a mega-event strategy may encounter related to the ultimate goal of urban transformation. It finds that political added value of mega-events empowers Shanghai to advance its urban agenda and the role of urban planner is vital to deliver a sustainable mega-event.
Part of the book: An Overview of Urban and Regional Planning