Planning & Development
The Spectacular Construction of an Olympic Metropolis
University of Quebec, Montreal
ABSTRACT: This article presents a critical review of Beijing’s Olympic redevelopment, and of the social, economic, and political impacts of hosting mega events as a means of urban image construction. Through an analysis of Olympic projects, city marketing initiatives, and their impact on the city’s material and cultural landscape, this article postulates that Beijing’s spatial restructuring and image construction program played an important role in exacerbating the profound inequalities that have come to epitomize China’s transition to capitalism within an autocratic political system. Acting as a developmental engine legitimating large-scale urban transformations, the Olympics have helped concentrate economic and political power in the hands of a coalition of government leaders and private investors and allowed their interests to dominate the planning agenda. Beijing’s spectacular Olympic preparations have in many ways acted as a propaganda tool and an instrument of pacification to divert popular attention from the shortcomings of China’s rapid economic transformation, accompanied by rampant land speculation, corruption, and uneven development.
Submitted by Charles Batsworth on Mon, 12/12/2011 - 00:26.
UCL and the London Borough of Newham have today announced plans to explore the establishment of a new campus for UCL in the Olympic borough of Newham
Submitted by Martin Slavin on Fri, 25/11/2011 - 17:24.
The raid on public funds to persuade West Ham and Tottenham football clubs to stay in their home territories has escalated to £57million with Haringey Council matching Bojo's offer of £8.5million with another £8.5million in relief for planning costs. This has drawn criticism from Spurs' courtroom allies, Leyton Orient, whose Chairman, Barry Hearn, described the offer as a 'bung'.
Submitted by Julian Cheyne on Sun, 02/10/2011 - 02:26.
A local road improvement scheme at Wimborne in Dorset which was to have been delayed while an impact study was carried out following protests will now go ahead because the Government has belatedly admitted it is key to the Olympics Route Network.
Submitted by Julian Cheyne on Sun, 21/08/2011 - 00:12.
OPLC's 'Alternative North-West Parklands and Velopark' presentation of 08/07/2011.
This is a large PDF file (13Mb)
Submitted by Charles Batsworth on Fri, 15/07/2011 - 13:46.
Two newspapers have recently carried stories linking Stratford City and the Olympics. The Telegraph came up with 'London 2012 Olympics: legacy arrives early with the 2011 opening of Westfield Stratford' claiming the Olympics had resulted in the project being delivered 'seven years earlier than planned'. Dave Hill in the Guardian headlined his blog 'Olympic Park: Boris, shopping and visions of the good society' saying 'The Mayor profits from good news stories about the Olympics'.
Submitted by Julian Cheyne on Wed, 06/07/2011 - 23:02.
This paper discusses the siting of the Summer Olympic Games at the global, national and local scales. The increasing corporatization of the Games is examined. Their use in city marketing campaigns is evaluated.
Submitted by Martin Slavin on Wed, 26/01/2011 - 10:59.
The Property world is getting excited by the interest supposedly being showed in the Athletes’ Village and the Media Centre. Of course, expressions of interest are not the same as money on the table. But even if the money does materialise what does this signify? That property tycoons see an opportunity to make a profit? And that profit will be made at a loss to the public purse of at least £150million on the Village and an unknown sum on the Media Centre.
Submitted by Julian Cheyne on Sun, 19/12/2010 - 23:03.