Qatar 2022 Going Green

Increasingly, planners see mega sporting events such as the Olympic Games and the FIFA World Cup as tools for healthy lifestyle adoption and targeted social and environmental change. There is now an impetus on focusing on strategic paths towards achieving lasting outcomes for event host communities. This is known as event leveraging and is an approach that was first introduced at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

Subsequent mega sporting events, maintained this approach to a lesser or greater extent and in the build up to 2022, planners in Qatar have similar opportunities; to leverage the hosting of the FIFA World Cup to address the strategic imperatives of improvement of the communication and adoption of physically active lifestyles and the use of events to implement best environmental sustainability practice.

Staff at Edinburgh Napier University’s Business School (Dr Eleni Theodoraki, Dr Jane-Ali Knight and Dr Maktoba Omar) have received a research grant of $260,000 from the Qatar National Research Fund to undertake related research in partnership with staff at Stenden University, Qatar. The action research they proposed will last two years and take the form of a network development project to facilitate the constructive dialogue and knowledge transfer between professionals (event managers, public health experts, sponsors, physical educators, social marketing experts, city planners and environmental agencies) in Qatar and experts in the UK and overseas.

The research will support structured dialogues and shared strategic visions on the opportunities that the event will generate for green and active living; perceived barriers and challenges that exist in harnessing opportunities; and finally, strategic options available to mitigate against barriers to green and active living and achieve targets. Overall, this applied research will identify mechanisms for using the events to inspire positive lifestyle change in line with event leveraging strategies pioneered in Australia and championed in the London 2012 Olympics, too (where the Dr Theodoraki acted as Commissioner for a Sustainable London 2012).

For further information contact Dr Eleni Theodoraki by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or tel: +44 (0) 131 455 4717 or post: Edinburgh Institute: Festivals, Events, Tourism, The Business School, Edinburgh Napier University, Craiglockhart, Edinburgh, EH14 1DJ, Scotland

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