The Regional Studies Association Mega-Events Research Network was established in 2011. Over the past 5 years four workshops have been held in London and Maastricht, plus special sessions convened at the AAG in New York (2012) , Chicago (2015), San Francisco (2016) and at the 2015 Regional Studies Association annual conference in Piacenza where 2 sessions were organised. Over 40 presentations including by academics (senior, mid and early career), research students, practitioners and policy-makers, have been made to audiences, totalling 200 people, with attendance at each event ranging from at least 20 to 50. Two Network reports in the REGIONS journal have been published and a Survey issue 295(3) in 2014, including contributions from the current Network convenors. This level of activity, which exceeded the planned programme, reflects both the demand and interest in the Mega- Event topic and themes. This is also an indication of the widening scope geographically (e.g. Middle East, China, Russia) and in terms of the regional dimension to this phenomenon including cross and transborder regional development.

Mega-Events Research Themes
  • Regional theory: Mega-events and regional development – theoretical perspectives: regime theory, entrepreneurial and competitive city discourses
  • Regional economic development: Mega-events and economic development; tourism; pre-, event and legacy phases: short, mid and long-term assessment, SMEs and city growth
  • Regional planning and policy: Event planning process, infrastructure investment and planning , e.g. transport, facilities, sustainable development, cultural and community planning
  • Regional policy, public management and policy evaluation: Policy scales: local, city-region; delivery & operational challenges; evaluation methods and KT/KE
  • Territorial politics, governance, regionalism and federalism: City core/periphery and regional relationships and tensions, image and promotional choices, public-private partnerships/participation
  • Regional ‘impacts’: Social, economic environmental and cultural impacts attributed/claimed
  • Data, methods and spatial econometrics: Modelling impacts and flows, spatial data analysis, baseline/change data, cluster, discourse and network analysis
  • Regional identities: Reconciling, reflecting regional and cross-border identities, diversity/inter and multi culturalism, heritage versus contemporary ‘assets’, Branding and Place-Making