1st Edition

Mega-events and Urban Image Construction Beijing and Rio de Janeiro

By Anne-Marie Broudehoux Copyright 2017
    172 Pages
    by Routledge

    172 Pages 22 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    While societies shape the way their cities look and are represented, urban images, in turn, nurture and structure social relations in multiple ways. Nowhere is this dialectical relationship between social processes and urban representations more visible than in the hosting of global spectacles such as the FIFA World Cup and the Olympic Games, which both embody some of society’s deepest dreams and desires.

    The focus of this book is the image of cities. It is not only interested in the mechanisms of urban image construction but also in the politics of such a phenomenon, especially its social impacts in terms of representation and right to the city. The book investigates the complex power relationships that underscore the production of the urban landscape and the construction and diffusion of urban images, especially in the context of urban mega-events. It uses the notion of urban image construction as a lens through which to examine the mega-event spectacle, with chapters exploring the physical, social and political dimensions of the imagineering process as well as emerging resistance to controversial initiatives. Through an analysis of event-related urban construction efforts in Rio de Janeiro and Beijing, this book examines the effects of mega-events upon the construction of an exclusive vision of urbanity. It demonstrates how mega-events are increasingly utilized by local political and economic elites to reconfigure power relations, strengthen their hold upon the urban territory and exclude vulnerable population groups.

    The book thus offers a critical analysis of the practice of urban image construction, and will be of interest to those working in geography, urban studies, tourism, sport studies, development studies and politics.

    Introduction: the dark side of place image production – between Faust and Dorian Gray 1. Mega-events and urban image construction: a tale of two cities 2. The autonomous and concerted production of mental place images 3. Mega-events and physical image construction: between seduction and exclusion 4. Social image construction in the mega-event city: civilization, discipline and control 5. Contesting the mega-event spectacle: resistance to urban image construction 6. The human impacts of urban image construction: revanchism and the neoliberal war on the poor Conclusion: event-led urban image construction, a critical appraisal


    Anne-Marie Broudehoux is Associate Professor at the School of Design of the University of Quebec at Montreal, Canada. She received her doctoral degree in architecture from the University of California at Berkeley in 2002. She is the author of The Making and Selling of Post-Mao Beijing (2004), which was awarded the 2004–2005 International Planning History Society (IPHS) book prize in 2006. She has published several book chapters and articles on processes related to urban image construction in the context of mega-event preparation, on aspects ranging across tourism development, planning, architecture and social reforms, especially in Beijing and Rio de Janeiro.

    "The author provides an in-depth analysis of urban image construction spurred by the hosting of sport mega-events. In Mega-events and Urban Image Construction: Beijing and Rio de Janeiro, the reader learns about the main aspects of city marketing and city branding, and gets a fair understanding of positive and negative impacts of city image management. Mega-events and Urban Image Construction: Beijing and Rio de Janeiro is particularly relevant to those working on the upcoming Olympic Games in Japan and on the FIFA World Cup in Qatar."

    - Jeremy Lemarie, PhD, Department of Sciences and Techniques of Physical and Sports Activities, Research Center ACP,  University of Paris Est Marne-la-Vall�ee, Champs-sur-Marne, France