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.

European Capitals of Culture

  • 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 established a model for the longitudinal assessment of the multiple impacts of culture-led regeneration programmes, in particular, event-led regeneration initiatives. Impacts 08 combined 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]

Olympic Games

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 and Vancouver 2010. 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 Programers. In 2011, I have been appointed to conduct the main evaluation of the Cultural Olympiad and the London 2012 Festival. 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.

Other major events

I have also conducted research on other large scale events, such as art biennials, the Commonwealth Games = such as Cultureshock – the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games Cultural Programme, or the Universal Forum for Cultures of Barcelona 2004; and major awards such as the Unesco World Heritage title – in particular, their impact on cities.

You will find more information about all of these research interests and projects by browsing this site and related online platforms such as, and