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Urban Studies Research
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 587523, 12 pages
Research Article

Mega Events and Urban Conflicts in Valencia, Spain: Contesting the New Urban Modernity

1Department of Geography, University of Valencia, 46010 Valencia, Spain
2Canada Research Chair in Socioterritorial Conflict and Local Governance, Department of Geography, Université du Québec à Montréal, QC, Canada H3C 3P8

Received 24 November 2010; Accepted 2 March 2011

Academic Editor: Bo-Sin Tang

Copyright © 2011 Luis del Romero Renau and Catherine Trudelle. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The local and regional administrations of Valencia, Spain, have been working to position the city, which is the country's third largest in terms of population, as an international destination for luxury tourism through sports mega-events. Valencia's new image as a “mega-events city” has been criticized by citizens and urban-based movements on social and environmental grounds, resulting in various urban conflicts. The aim of this paper is to examine the causes and dynamics of these conflicts in order to understand the discourse and rationales behind the criticism. This will also include an examination of the ways in which these conflicts were managed by the local administration, especially in the months leading up to and during the events, when the city was receiving worldwide media coverage. Researching local print media, we focused on urban conflicts that took place in Valencia between 1995 and 2010. We also looked at the performance of urban-based movements and the administration as conflicting actors. One of the main findings was the strong consensual authoritarianism manifested by the administration and mega-event organizers when making decisions and managing urban conflicts related to mega-events.