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 OlympiadEuropean 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

  • I have documented the experience of European Capital of Culture (ECoC) hosts since the initiative’s launch in 1985. I have developed research frameworks and collected and data from every individual host city and advanced discussion on how best to compare materials and identify best practices as well as recurrent challenges.
  • This work has taken place within the Centre for Cultural Policy Research (University of Glasgow), the Impacts 08 research team at the University of Liverpool, the Institute of Cultural Capital at the University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University, and in collaboration with researchers and research units across European universities.
  • My research has been funded by UK Research Council grants (Arts and Humanities Research Council, Economic and Social Resarch Council), the European Parliament and the Creative Europe Programme, in collaboration with the the European Commission.
  • Find here an overview of the main European Capital of Culture projects I have directed to date.

Olympic Games

  • Since 1998, 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 also study the approach to cultural policy-making within the Olympic Movement more broadly.
  • I have conducted fieldwork on the official cultural programme of every Olympic Games edition (both summer and winter) since Sydney 2000 and conducted retrospective research on Olympic art interventions since their official start in 1912 (Olympic Art Competitions).
  • This work has taken place in collaboration with the Olympic Studies Centre (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona) and the Centre for Olympic Studies (University of New South Wales). The work has been possible thanks to the support of the Centre for Cultural Policy Research (University of Glasgow), the University of Liverpool and the Institute of Cultural Capital; and thanks to residencies at University of Technology, Sydney; the International Olympic Academy at Ancient Olympia, and the Olympic Studies Centre at the International Olympic Committee in Lausanne.
  • The research has been funded by the British Academy, the Newton Fund, the Universities China Committee, Arts Council England, the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games and the International Olympic Committee, among others.
  • Since 2017, I have been invited to act as independent culture expert within the IOC Commission for Culture and Olympic Heritage.

Find here an overview of the main Olympic cultural policy and Cultural Olympiad-related projects I have led on.

Other major events

  • I conduct research on other large scale events, such as art biennials, the Commonwealth Games, or the Universal Forum for Cultures; 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