Josh Leon at Next American City writes about the negative aspects of these huge events -- from the displacement of the poor to exploitation of workers to increased gentrification and class separation.
"This mega-event movement is rabidly anti-Jacobsian at its core. What it really puts forth is socially debilitating class homogeneity. It brazenly excludes the poor and makes life harder on the middle class. It threatens to further reduce the world's great urban districts into millionaire McPlaylands. How polarizing are mega-events? Consider the Olympics. New home prices spiked 240 percent in the run up to the 1992 games in Barcelona. Here in the US, homeless people were arrested or simply booted from Atlanta's central corridors before the 1996 games. 'Police in Atlanta,' the Center on Housing Rights and Evictions reports, 'were revealed to be mass producing arrest citations with the following information pre-printed: African-American, Male, Homeless.' This is all micro scale compared with the frenzied neighborhood clearances that happened in Beijing and Seoul, which ruthlessly displaced millions."
Thanks to Pruned