Our paper is focused on a critical analysis of the 20th Olympic Winter Games, Torino 2006. In particular we would like to answer to two complementary questions. The first one concerns the contributions that an analysis of the Turin’s Games could give to the critical debate on Olympic Games and Olympic movement. The second one regards the long term impacts of the Games on the local territories and environment, from a point of view that puts particular emphasis on the relationships between different parts of the Olympic spatial system and above all between the city (Turin and its metropolitan area) and the mountains. The theoretical frame of this chapter is based on the idea that a mega-event, like the Winter Olympiads, implies the creation of a “project territory” interacting with the “ordinary” process of territorialisation that constantly build and transform the spatial structure of a specific society. In Turin’s case, the spatial frame of the event was characterised by a spatial bipolar structure (city / mountains), but the final issue saw an actual dominance of the metropolis: for many aspects the mountains were brought into the city, as a scenery for an edition of the Games marked by an urban centrality. This inequality emerges also from the governance of the event and in the material and immaterial Olympic legacy. In fact, while Turin has been able to use the event to renew its image and to pursue strategic goals of urban transformation, until now the mountains have not taken the opportunity to redefine their model of development and to create less unbalanced relations with the city. Other aspects of more general interest that emerge from Torino 2006 concerns environmental governance and participation. From the outset, the lead-up to Torino 2006 has been marked by a particular attention to the issue of environmental sustainability. The organizers’ intentions in this regard were expressed in the early stages of the Olympic process with the so-called Olympic Green Card, which set out general guidelines on how to organize sustainability-oriented Olympic games. In particular a Strategical Environmental Assessment has been developed for the first time to Olympic Games, with specific EIA for sports facilities, an Emas of Toroc and the Ecolabel for a Media Village. TOROC promoted also the Environmental Consultation Assembly, consisting of representatives of local administrations and environmental associations – in 2001. In front of these apparently great efforts towards environment it is difficult to qualify Torino 2006 as Green games. Concerning participation, we could state that Torino 2006 had a great consensus but a low participation.
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