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Lunch Plenary

Special Events as a Catalyst for Transportation Investments

Large scale special events provide an impetus and an opportunity for cities to invest in their infrastructure and reimagine their cityscapes. From the great expositions of 19th-century Paris and Chicago to today’s Olympic Games in Athens, Beijing and London, special events act as catalysts to urban invention and opportunities to build anew.

In 2005, New York City and London competed to host the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. While London ultimately won the Olympic bid, New York City’s NYC2012 initiative set the stage for the transformation of Manhattan’s West Side Hudson Yards development and the Brooklyn and Queens waterfront redevelopment. Special Events as a Catalyst for Transportation Investments will highlight parallel efforts in New York City and London to invest in new transportation infrastructure for the 2012 Games, looking at both the impacts, challenges and opportunities of proposing and staging large-scale events.