Sustainability of venues for mega-events - truth or discrepancy?
Olympic Games and their sports facilities, having experienced a massive, one-off flow of human, cultural and economic goods, actually cannot be termed sustainable; yet they could leave a sustainable legacy to the host cities, provided that certain specified boundary conditions are observed. Nevertheless, the Olympic Games must be seen as what they are - namely as a mega-event. Olympic history showed, however, that it is possible to confine Olympic venues, the impact of the mega-event and the associated construction projects on the host cities to a low level, by choosing appropriate sustainable planning strategies and by considering a holistic and performance orientated approach (i.e. attributing equal importance to the economic, ecological, and social factors). There are several examples from the past, which prove that Olympic Games and especially their venues and building facilities do have a catalytic function on the host country and on the people due to economic, urban, social, and historic effects and are also promoting the development of national environmental standards in the construction sector of the host cities. From this it becomes quite evident that Olympic Games and their sports facilities can indeed be a possibility to the sustainable development of the respective host city and host country. Due to their great international media response they also provide a suitable method for the worldwide dissemination and promotion of the idea of sustainability.