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ABSTRACT

Legacy planning in preparation for the Olympic Games has significantly grown in importance for host cities and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) because of wasteful investments for some previous Games. Since the late 1990s, the IOC has actively sought to prevent such overspending through a Transfer of Knowledge program, in which valuable lessons are passed from one host city to the next. This paper analyzes the transport legacies of the Olympic Games, using original archive material and interviews with key decision-makers in five cities. While previous research into the effects of the Olympic Games on host cities suggests that infrastructural legacies are place-specific, the main argument of this paper is that the transport legacies of the Olympic Games are much more uniform across the host cities. Even though host cities’ transport systems were intrinsically different pre-Olympics, the author finds that similar features of Olympic transport systems, developed through the Transfer of Knowledge program, produced similar legacies. In explaining the creation of transport legacies through Olympics-motivated drivers, the author suggests the Olympics might trigger similar transport developments in future host cities. Therefore, city planners can use Olympic transport features as powerful catalysts to accelerate their urban and transport plans.