Keywords: cultural policy, urban regeneration, city marketing, cultural impacts, media narrative, long-term legacies of major events and festivals
Specific Interests: mega-events, Olympic Games, Cultural Olympiad, European Capital of Culture, cultural and arts festivals
Since early 1997, my research has focused on studying the regeneration potential of cultural programmes staged within major national and world events. My main interest is to assess their long-term cultural legacies as distinct from other economic, physical and social impacts. With this in mind, I have developed a set of cultural indicators and longitudinal qualitative methodologies that complement established approaches to economic, social and physical impact analysis in order to advance the understanding of cultural impacts specifically.
In my role as Director of the Impacts 08 research programme into the effects of hosting the 2008 European Capital of Culture in Liverpool, I have established a model for the longitudinal assessment of the multiple impacts of culture-led regeneration programmes, in particular, event-led regeneration initiatives. Impacts 08 combines methodologies for the assessment of economic as well as social, physical/environmental and cultural impacts. [Main website] [Image archive]
Prior to Impacts 08, I was the principal investigator for a retrospective study of the long term legacy of Glasgow 1990, European City of Culture. This work involved the establishment of methodologies to analyse the effects of hosting such an event on perceptions of place, particularly, the notion of an image rennaissance for a post-industrial city. [See Projects]
Throughout, my work has also involved the assessment of the cultural dimensions of the Olympic Games, in particular, the Cultural Olympiad or official Olympic Arts Festivals. I have conducted fieldwork on the cultural programmes of the Olympic Games in Sydney 2000, Salt Lake 2002, Athens 2004, Torino 2006, Beijing 2008, Vancouver 2010, London 2012 and the lead up to Sochi 2014. I have also acted as academic observer and advisor to the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad since the Bid stage. This role has involved conversations with the Culture, Ceremonies & Education team at the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, the Greater London Authority, and a whole range of related stakeholders UK wide, such as the team of Creative Programmers. My Olympic research also involves advisory roles within the International Olympic Committee in Lausanne (Postgraduate Grant Selection Committee) and speaker roles at the International Olympic Academy in Greece. I am currently in charge of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad and Festival main legacy evaluation.
I have conducted research on other large scale events and major interventions, such as the World Heritage Site award in Liverpool, Cultureshock – the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games Cultural Programme, and the Universal Forum for Cultures of Barcelona 2004.