Destinations

An Argument for Hosting the Olympics in the Same City Every Year

Excerpt from The Atlantic Cities

Sep 07, 2013 9:11 am

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Hosting the Olympics is an honor that comes along with expensive construction, underused infrastructure, and local controversy in many cities. Although an Olympic Island could become a multinational experiment in sustainable city planning, powerful stakeholders in the current system have too much to lose to let it become a reality.

— Samantha Shankman

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Japan Sport Council  / AP Photo

This artist rendering released by Japan Sport Council shows the new National Stadium, which will become the main venue for the 2020 Summer Olympics if Tokyo is chosen as the host city in the International Olympic Committee voting in Argentina Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013. Japan Sport Council / AP Photo


Instead of investing billions of dollars in new Olympic host cities every four years, Short suggests it would be cheaper and easier to create a sort of Olympics island that can play host to the more expensive Summer Games, at a minimum, year after year. The IOC could essentially take over an island – maybe a Greek island, Short suggests – and turn it into a permanent venue. It would function more or less like an international city-state, overseen by the United Nations, dedicated to hosting the Olympics and its training in perpetuity.

Short argues Olympics Island could be an ongoing experiment in sustainability and architecture, with facilities upgraded and new ideas tested, and with far fewer of the social or environmental costs than in existing cities.

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