Nanjing will be Transformed into a City of Lanterns for the 2014 Youth Olympic Games

March 2, 2011

The master plan for the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China has been awarded to Populous, the world’s pre-eminent firm for the design of sporting special events including Olympic Games, World Cups and Super Bowls.

The winning master plan for the international competition will see over 3 million square meters (320 million square feet) of built space added to the city of Nanjing including Olympic sports venues, exhibition centers and athlete’s accommodations. The Populous plan includes public buildings that will be illuminated like lanterns for the Youth Games. Images that showcase the lantern concept have been released for the first time today.

The master plan has been conceived with legacy at the forefront. Populous was able to draw upon considerable experience in delivering sustainable master planning for other Olympic sites which include the ongoing London 2012 Olympic Park, Sochi 2014 Olympic Park, and 7 other Olympic Games. Populous also has participated in the planning and staging of 26 Super Bowls and 6 World Cups for soccer, rugby and cricket.

“We’re honored to have played a part over 400 special event venues and the vast majority of the world’s great sporting competitions over the past 20 years,” said Populous Senior Principal Jerry Anderson. “Starting with the 1996 Atlanta Olympics we’ve come to understand all facets of master planning for special events and the increasing importance of urban planning to leave a lasting and positive legacy.”

Ashley Munday, Principal of the master planning team for the Nanjing submission said, “Our primary brief was to create a lasting legacy for the city of Nanjing following the Youth Olympics in 2014. The master plan was designed with the long term development of the city in mind and the Olympic Games have been carefully positioned to inhabit the new city rather than retrofit a legacy. Nanjing will literally light up for the Games, highlighting the city as the host of the Games.”

Paul Henry, Senior Principal, said Populous has been working in China for over ten years. “This is a significant win for the firm, and will leave a lasting legacy for the city of Nanjing.”

Populous has helped to bid, plan, manage and design more than 400 major events. The Olympic portfolio includes three main stadiums (Sydney 2000; London 2012 and Sochi 2014); 13 Games stadium and arena venues; overlay and master planning for nine Games; and preparation of 12 Olympic Games Bids. In addition to facility design, Populous provides strategic guidance for members of the Organizing Committee on issues such as land acquisition, transportation and commodities. Beyond the Olympics, Populous event planning specialists have organized 26 NFL Super Bowls, 4 FIFA World Cup tournaments, 10 various World Games and Bids, 12 Major League Baseball All Star Games and 3 NCAA Final Four tournaments

The Youth Olympic Games (YOG) is an international multi-sport event held every four years. The event follows the existing Olympic format of staggered summer and winter games. The idea for such an event was introduced by International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Jacques Rogge in 2001. On July 5, 2007, IOC members at the 119th IOC session in Guatemala City approved the creation of a youth version of the Olympic Games

The YOG is a sporting event for young people, balancing sport, education and culture. These Games are designed to serve as a catalyst in these fields throughout the Olympic Movement. Young athletes will participate in high-level sporting competitions while also engaging in a Culture and Education Program (CEP) focused on the Olympic spirit and Olympic values, skill development, well-being and healthy lifestyle, social responsibility and expression through digital media.

For further information please contact the Media team:
Gina Stingley – 816 221 1500 or
Patricia Fernandez -(0)20 8874 7666 or
Bindi Perkins – +61 7 3839 9155 or


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