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Call for papers: Industrial heritage sites and mega-events: An opportunity for urban redevelopment and social change?

Guest editors

Florence Graezer Bideau, College of Humanities and Section of Architecture, EPFL, Switzerland

Anne-Marie Broudehoux, École du Design, UQAM, Canada

Submission deadlines for extended abstracts: 30th April 2023

Submission deadlines for full papers: 30th November 2023

Aims and scope

The role of industrial heritage in guiding and legitimizing public policies and discourse about urban development has been extensively acknowledged, especially as a way to ensure the continuity between the past, present and future (Gardner 2019; Wicke et al. 2018; Carter et al. 2020). Industrial heritage sites are increasingly mobilized by local states to host sporting (Olympics, World Cup, etc.) or cultural (Exhibitions) mega-events, as a strategy to promote urban development, place branding, and societal change (Smith 2012; Müller and Gaffney 2018; Grix and Lee 2013; Andranovich et al. 2013; Gruneau and Horne 2015; Theurillat and Graezer Bideau 2022). Led by public-private coalitions of interest that remain faithful to the urban entrepreneurialism governance strategies described by Harvey a few decades ago (1989), these endeavors impact both infrastructure and landmark development, as well as ecological and social environments. Some scholars (Hayes and Karamichas 2012; Pillay and Bass 2008; Ponzini 2012; Su 2015; Jones 2017) have described the resulting material and immaterial transformations in terms of social engineering while others talk of sustainability and inclusive development goals (Broudehoux 2020; Stanton 2005, 2019). However, these transformations are not evenly embraced by local population groups, and can lead to debates, tensions, even conflicts, depending on socio-political context and implementation models, especially regarding socio-economic impacts and dispossession issues.  A comparison of various contexts in which the organization of mega-events impacts industrial heritage is crucial to better identify common trends and local variations. 

In this special issue, we welcome articles that contribute to better identifying common trends and local variations of the relationships between the organization of mega-events and industrial heritage for urban regeneration and growth worldwide. They should address and question one or more of the following issues: 1/ urban image branding and city of spectacle; 2/ state narratives and policies to legitimate mega-events and modernization/civilization process 3/ politics of exclusion and local population dispossession; 4/ environmental and social sustainability.  

Proposed Timeline

Abstracts (500-800 words) due: 30th April 2023

Acceptance decision and invitations: 31st May 2023

Author Workshop: 30th June 2023

Draft submission and start of peer review: 30th November 2023

Final version due: 30th April 2024

Publication (paper issue): 30th June 2024

All submissions to this collection will go through rigorous peer review. Reviewers will follow Springer Nature's and the journal's more detailed Peer-Review Policy. Accepted articles will  first be published online. The print issue is scheduled to be published in the second quarter of 2024.

 Extended abstracts (500-800 words) should contain the title of the paper, research question, methodology, main findings, and conclusions. Abstracts should be submitted to: with the subject line: Special Issue on Industrial heritage sites and mega-events.

Further Information

Questions may be addressed by email to:

Florence Graezer Bideau:

Anne-Marie Broudehoux :