A new paper has been released in the ICS Occasional Paper Series. The paper is authored by Dr Jay Scherer and titled Crises of Capitalism and Deficits of Democracy: Lessons from Vancouver’s Olympic Village Development.
Mega-events like the Olympic Games remain widely recognized as key opportunities for cities to accelerate large-scale urban development projects through the construction of extensive Olympic Villages complexes. However, in the current global financial climate, these debt-financed urban renewal strategies are fraught with risk for both public and private partners. In the first part of this paper, I explore how the city of Vancouver, British Columbia, inherited the entire responsibility for the construction of the 2010 Winter Olympic Village following the 2008 global economic crisis and a number of undisclosed local political commitments. In what follows, I raise some political questions about the democratic limitations of the entrepreneurial urban policy-making context and the disproportionate transfer of financial risk associated with these developments to the public sector. Finally, I draw parallels between the experiences of Vancouver and the recent government bailout of the Olympic Village development in East London.
Visit the ICS Occasional Paper Series page to download the paper.