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The Aspire Zone in Doha: A post-occupancy evaluation of the long-term legacies of the 2006 Asian Games
The rapid diffusion of themed-sport areas as legacies of mega-sporting events is a phenomenon gaining growing attention worldwide. An example of this is offered by the city of Doha. On the occasion of the 2006 Asian Games, the capital of Qatar faced some important urban transformations. The main legacy left after staging the event is the implementation of the Aspire Zone, Doha’s Sports City. Is this legacy beneficial in the long-term? What value is added to the city and its inhabitants? Moreover, what is the role of sports events in urban regeneration and their link with urban renewal processes? This study attempts to provide insight into the potential offered by themed-sport areas as legacies of mega-events. It aims to evaluate the rationale for the realisation of sports-dedicated zones, analysing their impact from a physical and social perspective. Specifically, the research offers an investigation into the long-term effect of the Aspire Zone, Doha Sports City, by conducting a post-occupancy evaluation. Conclusions show that there is potential to realise sports-oriented areas that are fully integrated into cities, but the design of a comprehensive and long-term plan is needed. Moreover, providing a sports city with a variety of different activities and functions will contribute to attracting different types of users and will avoid occasional use.
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