|Main results from a longitudinal survey on Turin population about next Winter Olympics |
Summary of the paper presented by Alessandro Guala
The paper deals with the attitudes emerging from two polls on the Turin population about the possible effects related to next Olympics to be held in 2006. The aim of the paper is to deepen how next Olympics are considered about the transformations of the city, and its terziarization process; 2006 Winter Olympics are considered among the “Mega Events”, occasions “of high profile”, that must be planned very carefully and several years before the event. As the international literature underlines, a mega event as Olympic Games has implications that can be very strong not only in the everyday life, but also in the economic system, in the re-construction of the local identity, in the strategies of citymarketing, in the concrete policies (best pratices). Olympic Games are a catalyst of urban transformation, one of the most important occasions for a new development model, after the death of the “fordist town”, and, in the case of Turin, the crisis of the Fiat Company.
The paper summarizes some results of two polls, conducted in Torino in 2002 and 2003, on two samples both of 900 interviewed people.
The questionnaires deal with a large differentiation of the goals pursued by the city: they can be very different: political legitimation, economic success, recovery of old district, renewall of public transportation system, citymarketing and tourism…. Not always these goals clash in a unique objective; on the contrary, there are only few cases of conclamated success (e.g. Barcelona 1992), while the majority of concrete experiences show cases of failure and success at the same time. For example, Atlanta 1996 Games were ecomomically positive, but a deep criticism affected logistics and public transportation system; Lillehammer 1994 registered an “intermezzo” syndrome after the Games, with difficulties to come back to the previous ''normal'' life.
The new interdipartimental Center of the University of Torino (born in 2003) OMERO (Olympics and Mega Events Research Observatory)is studying the variables that affect success or failure; among them we can consider the localization of sport facilities, the communication system, the dimension of the city hosting the Games, the dynamics and the structure of local economy, the collaboration between different levels of the local \ region \ state administrations, the availability of the “social capital”, that can legitimate local policies and social planning process. The attitudes of associations, groups and individuals can be used and\or manipulated by local authorities and local organizing commettee: the attitudes are a sort of ''social capital'', that explains different degree of community consultation and partecipation during the preparation for the staging of Turin next Games.