Re-inventing the city through Sport

Sport as a major cultural force and a catalyst for urban and social development.

Throughout time, sport has played a vital role in the development of mankind and our environment. The concept of sport as we know it today, has its origins in Ancient Olympia where the first principles of ‘Olympism’ were devised. ‘Olympism’ was a philosophy encouraging the harmonious development of physical, moral, intellectual, cultural and artistic qualities of man. ‘Olympism’ was achieved by taking part in a combination of sport, art, educational and cultural activities. It was celebrated through the Olympic Games – a festival involving athletes, scholars and artists from a varied cultural fields.

Since then, sport has travelled far across time and cultures. From the quiet hills of Ancient Olympia to the state-of-the-art facilities in the centres of major urban developments, sport continues to change our internal and external landscape, affecting the ways in which our bodies and minds develop, and altering the spaces we inhabit.

So what role does sport play today in the ever-changing landscape of human activity?

Today, in a fragile global economy, sport is the one industry which continues to grow exponentially. Major events for the first time in history are being held in developing countries; emerging economies are reshaping their cities using sport as a catalyst for change and established urban environments are using sport to regenerate redundant areas of their ever changing habitats.

DesignSport offers a glimpse at the extraordinary phenomenon that is sport in the development of urban environments through examples of its work in Arabia, India and Europe.

Samantha Cotterell

The exibition material also featured two Filmsport videos