An evaluation of the sustainability of the Olympic Games

Müller, Martin; Wolfe, Sven Daniel; Gaffney, Christopher; Gogishvili, David; Hug, Miriam; Leick, Annick (2021). An evaluation of the sustainability of the Olympic Games. Nature sustainability, 4(4), pp. 340-348. Springer 10.1038/s41893-021-00696-5

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The Olympic Games claim to be exemplars of sustainability, aiming to inspire sustainable futures around the world. Yet no systematic evaluation of their sustainability exists. We develop and apply a model with nine indicators to evaluate the sustainability of the 16 editions of the Summer and Winter Olympic Games between 1992 and 2020, representing a total cost of more than US$70 billion. Our model shows that the overall sustainability of the Olympic Games is medium and that it has declined over time. Salt Lake City 2002 was the most sustainable Olympic Games in this period, whereas Sochi 2014 and Rio de Janeiro 2016 were the least sustainable. No Olympics, however, score in the top category of our model. Three actions should make Olympic hosting more sustainable: first, greatly reducing the size of the event; second, rotating the Olympics among the same cities; third, enforcing independent sustainability standards.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Human Geography > Unit Economic Geography
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Human Geography
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
11 Centers of Competence > Center for Regional Economic Development (CRED)

UniBE Contributor:

Hug, Miriam Dorothea

Subjects:

300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 330 Economics
700 Arts > 710 Landscaping & area planning
900 History > 910 Geography & travel

ISSN:

2398-9629

Publisher:

Springer

Language:

English

Submitter:

Carmen Metzler

Date Deposited:

27 Apr 2021 13:49

Last Modified:

02 May 2021 03:07

Publisher DOI:

10.1038/s41893-021-00696-5

BORIS DOI:

10.48350/156055

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/156055

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