Events are emerging worldwide and are seen to have significant economic, cultural and social impacts on the host city. However, too often, the host cities focused most of their efforts on funding of events, with too little attention given to assess the impacts of event on residents’ quality of life (QoL). Cultural events, with the European Capital of Culture (ECOC) as a prominent example, have emerged as a means of improving the QoL of host cities in Europe. Based on a case study of Liverpool as the 2008 ECOC, this paper aims at conceptualising the articulation between cultural event and its wider QoL effects. Methodologically, both objective and subjective measures were used to provide a more complete evaluation of the impacts of cultural event, including economic impacts (i.e., the effects of tourism development and parallel urban regeneration), cultural impacts (the effects of event programmes and volunteering as well as the increase of cultural participation) and social impacts (the enhancement of civic pride, self-image and sense of place). It was done by drawing on a series of official documents – Impacts 08 research programme, supplemented by academic publications. To transmit the value of case study, this research provides also some suggestions for implementing effective event-led strategies for QoL improvement, and the solutions for potential challenges.
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