This article is an English-language review of Olympic studies. Much of the literature on the Olympics discussed in this paper can be positioned as a sub-discipline within mega-events studies. Urban sociology and geography have contributed immensely to this field, which originated within interdisciplinary tourism studies. Because of the complex characteristics of an enormous event that is the Olympic Games, this paper deals with a variety of research fields. The purpose of this paper is to explore of the wider geographical theme of urban studies from the perspective of Olympic studies. In the third section, the author provides an overview of Olympic studies literature, categorizing these into those that focus on the following topics: economical, touristic, physical, socio-cultural, psychological and political, which can be found in early mega-events studies. In the fourth section, the author places literature treating geographical themes under the following categories: Olympic cities, global competition between cities, urban (re)development, environment and sustainability, legacy, and citizen engagement. In the 1990s, research by urban sociologists extracted the urban theme from mega-events studies. From around 2000, Olympic studies by geographers has led geographical studies that were broadly concerned with the Olympics by overviewing the plans of previous host cities and since that time, the Olympic studies on geographical themes have flourished. Although the modern Olympic Games were of an international nature from the beginning, bidding to host the Olympics has become a global competition between cities around the world, and Olympic-related development has practiced a public-private partnership (PPP) under a neo-liberal urban policy. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has advocated for environmental issues and sustainability in its “Agenda 21” in a manner consonant with the trend of international public discourse. The IOC's claims concern issues of human rights and residence rights. By stressing the concept of “legacy,” the IOC requests that a host city's plans make use of existing venues in order to avoid problems that have arisen in past Games. However, the IOC's concept of sustainability was becoming a mere name, in preparations for the 2020 Games; human rights and environmental policy violations have occurred. In addition, there does not seem to be any room for accomplishing citizen engagement or participation in these Games. What is the future of the Olympics when it faces so many problems?
Unlike the second half of the 20th century, in the 21st century, mega-events such as Expos and the Olympics are planned in the major cities of developed countries, most of which have already hosted them. This demonstrates that the role of mega-events is changing to adapt to political, economic or social needs. The purpose of this paper is to understand what hosting the Olympics in global cities such as London, Paris, or Tokyo means by using a comparative analysis of the social role and urban impact of mega-events since the 19th century. Expos began in the mid-19th century and were held in the most important cities of newly constructed nation-states, to increase the awareness of nationality and patriotism and educate workers to make better goods than other countries. They also intended to demonstrate to more remote parts of the country and other nations, the image of the major cities amid modernization. Around the turn of the century, Expos included exhibitions of indigenous people to justify colonization and intensified imperialism. In this way, they reflected the national and urban situations of the time. Initially, the Olympics had less of an impact than Expos, but when London began to construct a stadium for the 1908 Games, they began to have an increasing influence on urban planning. Paris also constructed a stadium and also the first Olympic village for the 1924 Games. These two stadiums were both approximately 10 km from the center point of each city (Saint-Paul's for London and Notre-Dame for Paris). For the canceled 1940 Olympics, set to be held in Tokyo, a stadium was planned 12 km away from the center point (the Imperial Palace). The Olympic Games before WWII are thus related to the first development of suburban areas. After the war, the Games were held in London in 1948 and Tokyo in 1964, and this time reflected the megalopolization of cities with the location of the stadium or the construction of a city highway. Thus, the Olympics also influenced urban development during periods of economic growth. In the 21st century, with deindustrialization, the sites of mega-events have been selected to complement urban regeneration projects that began in the 1990s in all three cities. If we compare these urban policies, we realize that they have a common characteristic: the area's radius is approximately 10 km from the center point: Inner London for London, the Yamanote line (a circular railway line) for Tokyo, and the Métropole du Grand Paris (MGP) for Paris. This can be understood as the rescaling of cities from the megalopolis: the three cities decided where to concentrate the investment to adjust economic development, and the Olympics
In this article, I briefly investigate the difference in the conditions of urban (re)development around the two Olympic Games that was held (and will be held) in Tokyo. There are serious differences between 1964 and 2020. One is a burgeoning commercialization of the event itself, and the other is a process of profit earning related to some large-scale redevelopments of public spaces in the latter; in short, it is the very shift in the value from use value to exchange value. We can find the same situation not only in the urban center but also in the reclaimed coastal land area. On the other hand, the characteristic around the 1964 event is the massive conversion and construction of infrastructures in urban centers. However, as these public projects were forwarded according to the circumstances of rapid economic growth, many of the built environments constructed at that time come to fetters with urban growth nowadays. On the modality of representing the city or landscape, people changed their consciousness with the “clean-up campaign” and a thorough invisibilization of garbage, litter, poster, sewage, and wastewater with a sense of hygiene at the time.
In this study, the “speed” of Paul Virilio, the perception of Jonathan Clary, the “spectacle” of Guy Debord are used as analytical concepts, and to consider the transformation in the space of the four-men bobsleigh events from the 1st Winter Olympics at Chamonix-Mont-Blanc in 1924 to the 23rd Winter Olympics at Pyeongchang in 2018. As a result, it became clear that the space of bobsleigh events transforms the perception by interacting with high speed and spectacle. Furthermore, high speed and spectacle have progressed, supporting the enthusiasm for these events.
In recent years, hosting the Olympic Games has become very costly. Significant maintenance and operating costs for publicly-owned large Olympic venues continue to burden host cities and states long after the spectacular Olympic weeks come to an end. Summer Olympics stadiums, normally built to seat over 70,000 people, are particularly at risk of becoming white elephants. That is because the number of potential sports or cultural events which can fully fill an Olympic stadium with spectators are limited, and because maintenance, repair and operating costs snowball into an extraordinary amount of money. However, Montreal (the host city of the 1976 Summer Games) and Sydney (the host city of the 2000 Summer Games) have tried to revitalize the city through big reinvestment in Olympic stadiums in recent years—I call it “regeneration of the Olympic legacy.” For example, in Montreal, inside the inclined observatory tower attached to the Olympic Stadium, the office of the financial institution “Desjardins” with more than 1,000 employees was created and became an anchor tenant in 2018. In Sydney, the New South Wales government bought back the ownership of ANZ Stadium (the Olympic stadium) from a private company to make it into a public facility in July 2016, 15 years ahead of the original schedule. Further, the government planned to convert ANZ Stadium to a modern rectangular stadium with a retractable roof, and to construct two new rail services: a metro line and a light rail transit line. When analyzing the backgrounds and reasons for new reinvestment in Olympic stadiums by both cities, we can find four common points. Firstly, both Olympic stadiums are located in the Olympic park near the center of the city and have good transportation access. Secondly, both Olympic stadiums have constantly had good repair work, operation and equipment upgrades by the owner. Thirdly, both Olympic stadiums have no actual existing nearby competitive large-capacity venues. Finally, both Olympic stadiums have suffered from a chronic deficit or are presumed to run into financial trouble in the near future.
This paper examines the Tokyo coastal area, regarded as the “Bay Zone” in the venue plan for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, while following the history of its development and organizing the effects of the times that sometimes acted. Since the Edo period, it has been built by river sand, port constructing, garbage disposal, etc., the coastal area has focused as the location of the waterfront sub-center plan based on the Tokyo Metropolitan Government's Teleport-plan and the urban redevelopment plan by the national policy. After the late 1990s, urban revitalization was positioned as a national policy, and urban remodeling became consistent with the IOC's “legacy” strategy, so the Tokyo Metropolitan Olympic sought-after. It can be said that reclaimed land was a necessary place for the expansion of Tokyo where various reasons are mobilized and development is advanced, including those that can cause friction with the surrounding area.
Since the hosting the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and the Paralympic Games was decided, new measures on “safety and security” are being developed in Japan. This paper examines these security measures using public documents, newspaper and magazine articles and other published materials. It then clarifies their significant features and points out problems in the progress of these practices. At the national level, the Ministerial Meeting Conceming Measures Against Crime in 2013 established the “world's safest Japanese creation strategy”. At the prefecture level, the Tokyo metropolitan government set a “safe and secure TOKYO strategy” and responsive measures are currently under way. Among these, the policy recommends that citizens voluntarily participate in crime prevention activities. On the other hand, efforts to design a crime prevention environment such as the installation and utilization of massive surveillance cameras are proceeding. In addition, major railway companies are planning to install surveillance cameras in their train cars. It is expected that train cars with surveillance cameras will be introduced in most major lines in the Tokyo metropolitan area by 2020. Many citizens seem to think that such multiple measures regarding “safety” are effective to maintain security. Therefore, as the 2020 Tokyo Games approach, these measures will become more common. However, in some aspects, such measures can lead to a maximization of monitoring by authorities. This paper argues that they pose a risk of restricting civil liberties and depriving citizens of “security”.
At the time of the London Olympics, a tourism campaign was conducted, called “London Plus.” The aim of the campaign was to entice overseas tourists not just to stay in London but also visit to one or two other cities in addition to London. In Japan, however, intake capacity is reaching its limits as tourists enter the country via one of the Tokyo metropolitan area airports as has generally been the case and travel the so-called Golden Route. According to the estimates, all of the current proposals for increasing the international flight capacity of the seven main airports will need to be fully enacted to reach the government's target of 60 million tourists. In addition, even under the most optimistic assumptions, the regional airports not only have to keep pace with the major airports, but will need to increase their flights by at least six-fold. Under more conservative assumptions, the government target will clearly not be feasible unless a ten-fold increase is achieved. In other words, Japan should pursue a ‘Plus Tokyo' strategy, under which international visitors to Japan should actively be encouraged to first visit regional cities, then extend their journeys to Tokyo. When rolling out a Plus Tokyo strategy in regional cities, cultural programs such as food culture promise to play a major role in enticing tourists during their stay.