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.
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