Cities are staging more events than ever. Within this macro-trend, there is another less acknowledged trend: more events are being staged in public spaces. Some events have always been staged in parks, streets and squares, but in recent years events have been taken out of traditional venues and staged in prominent urban spaces. This is favoured by organisers seeking more memorable and more spectacular events, but also by authorities who want to animate urban space and make it more visible.

This book explains these trends and outlines the implications for public spaces. Events play a positive role in our cities, but turning public spaces into venues is often controversial. Events can denigrate as well as animate city space; they are part of the commercialisation, privatisation and securitisation of public space noted by commentators in recent years. The book focuses on examples from London in particular, but it also covers a range of other cities from the developed world. Events at different scales are addressed and, there is dedicated coverage of sports events and cultural events.

This topical and timely volume provides valuable material for higher level students, researchers and academics from events studies, urban studies and development studies.

chapter 1|12 pages


chapter 2|20 pages

Urban public space

chapter 3|26 pages

The urbanisation of events

chapter 4|20 pages


Events and the production of urban public space

chapter 5|24 pages


Events and the denigration of urban public space

chapter 6|22 pages

Using public spaces as events venues

Greenwich Park becomes an Olympic Park

chapter 7|27 pages

Enclosing open space

Event legacies in the Royal Borough of Greenwich

chapter 8|19 pages

Regulation and resistance

chapter 9|11 pages