Legacy planning and event sustainability: Helsinki as the 2012 World Design Capital

Yi De Liu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Sustainable events mean that the direct and indirect effects of events can be maintained. Planning legacy is becoming an important way to ensure the sustainability of events. Although the legacy of hosting major events is gaining interest among event researchers, a handful of empirical studies tried to discuss the articulation between event sustainability and legacy planning. This study contributes, therefore, to this line of enquiry. Based on the case of Helsinki as the 2012 World Design Capital, this paper aims to investigate the legacy plan of Helsinki, the perceptions of key stakeholders regarding the legacy outcomes, the determinants of legacy planning and its challenges. Methodologically, this paper is based on research conducted using a case study. The data collected are mainly qualitative and inductive in nature, supplemented by official documents and online resources. The study underlines that the integration of design into public administration, embedding design thinking, enhancing city image, reinforcing networking and the formulation of design policy are the main legacy outcomes. Also, the experience of Helsinki illustrates that legacy planning must consider three key factors-leadership in governance, communication with public, as well as timing and time, so as to create more sustainable longer-term effects.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2453
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jul 13


  • Event legacy
  • Event sustainability
  • Helsinki
  • Legacy planning;World Design Capital

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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