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World-class events such as the Olympic Games can help put cities or regions on the map, all the while attracting valuable visitor revenue and economic investment. They do, however, bring many security risks. A new International Standard is currently being developed to help cities manage big events with public safety and security at their heart.

Elevated view of the New York Marathon crossing Verrazano Bridge in Staten Island, New York, USA.

ISO 22379, Security and resilience – Guidelines for hosting and organizing large citywide events, aims to provide guidelines and expertise on how to manage risks, public safety and service continuity during a wide-scale event. When published, it will be the first International Standard of its kind, bringing together the knowledge and know-how of experts involved in hosting major events such as the Tokyo Olympics 2020, the Winter Olympics in Beijing in 2022, the Berlin Marathon, and many more.

Ivar K. Lunde, Convenor of the working group that developed the standard, said that what makes it so valuable and unique is that it will be a product of the lessons and learnings of many cities and event organizers worldwide.

“Attracting international events is seen by many cities as a key way of promoting themselves on the global stage, but doing it successfully is a huge affair,” he said.

“What often happens currently is that each city starts its planning from scratch, without the benefit of the shared expertise and best practice of others. This standard will bring together such learning for everyone to benefit from.”

Lunde said there is as yet no “holistic” International Standard that can address all the key elements of preparing for, executing and evaluating a major event in a sustainable and secure manner. The use of ISO 22379 will therefore not only improve the success of large-scale events, but enable cities to host them in a way that also contributes to many of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

It will also help cities decide whether to hold the event or not, as it enables them to identify the real risks and costs that will be involved.

ISO 22379 will be a useful complement to ISO 20121, Event sustainability management systems – Requirements with guidance for use, which provides a framework for making an event sustainable at the social, economic and environmental levels.

ISO 22379 is being developed by ISO technical committee ISO/TC 292, Security and resilience, the secretariat of which is held by SIS, ISO’s member in Sweden.


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Clare Naden
Clare Naden

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