01 Jun Trends and Issues of Convention Center Development in Major Cities
Trends and Issues of Convention Center Development in Major Cities
Seoul, Sydney, New York
Following the success of Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands, facilities including hotels, restaurants, shopping complexes, and cultural and entertainment spots were developed around the convention center to add value to the region and help economic revitalization. Due to this, the overall development of convention centers has started in most major world cities.
The expansion of global convention infrastructure has been promoted since 2016 and consideration of regional development and urban renewal projects is key. The aim is to promote a city’s culture and economy while increasing the demand and development of the convention facilities. Moreover, businesses are created to boost the city’s competitiveness and quality of life living by supporting enviromental sustainability.
Last year, Seoul Metropolitan Government announced that it will develop Jamsil Sports Complex’s Seoul International Complex to build MICE infrastructure covering more than 100,000 ㎡. Beyond the construction of a simple convention center, this large-scale development project will combine international business, culture, sports, entertainment, accommodations, food and beverages, shopping and more. Aside from promoting international business, this project focuses on improving the ease of access and quality of life through development projects such as integrating the riverside areas around the Hangang River and Tancheon Stream.
The development of Sydney’s Darling Harbour conference facility was carried out by the state government of New South Wales as an urban development plan with the cooperation of both the public and private sectors. This project developed an area of 200,000 ㎡ through an investment of 3.4 billion dollars. The facility was completed at the end of last year. Main facilities that included the ICC Sydney convention center, exhibition halls and entertainment centers were created along with commercial, business, educational and cultural facilities, green spaces, restaurants, retail outlets and public spaces in the surrounding region. In particular, a sustainable space both eco-friendly and easily accessible on foot was created.
In January last year, New York Mayor, Bill de Blasio, announced investment of 1 billion dollars to expand his city’s leading convention center, Javits Center, to boost the hosting of global events and the city’s economy. In addition to expanding convention facilities, the project is seen to decrease air pollution and traffic congestion as well as ensure pedestrian safety by building new truck marshaling facilities. Moreover, installation of solar panels seek to upgrade LEED certification to the platinum level. A terrace on the roof of the new building with a view of the Hudson River is also planned to host banquets and other events. The project is expected to create 9,100 jobs, 200,000 hotel rooms and revenue of 390 million dollars per year.
Despite economic volatility, growth prospects for the convention industry remain. Yet growth will likely require more than just revitalizing information exchange and creation of business opportunities, because of the higher focus on regeneration of urban regions, raising quality of life and revitalization of a city’s economy.