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Politics

Regeneration, the 2012 Olympics and the gentrification of East London

It's Not For Us

Paul Watt

This paper examines the much-hyped 2012 Olympic Games ‘legacy’ in relation to the displacement experiences of lower-income East Londoners. The paper begins by outlining the overall context of housing-related regeneration including the reduced role for social housing, especially council (public) housing in London.


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A Bankrupt Field of Dreams

The fraught disputes over how best to recoup the high construction and maintenance costs of the London Olympic stadium conform to a pattern previously seen elsewhere in England and abroad. The story of the Don Valley stadium in Sheffield provides a cautionary tale of how the visionary delusions of ambitious politicians end up ruining the chances of ordinary people gaining adequate access to affordable opportunities for healthy recreation.


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Rage against the LVRPA

The Law of Unintended Consequences kicks in in the post-Olympics discontent with a campaign in South London against paying any more money to the Lea Valley Regional Park Authority in North-East London. Local politicians are annoyed that South London boroughs each pay hundreds of thousands of pounds to maintain the Lea Valley Park, which South Londoners seldom use, when it has just gained tax-payer funded facilities worth £170 million from the Olympics. They've got their own Regional Park in the Wandle Valley and think the money should go there.


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(kuhn-ver-juhns) n:

Convergence: Screengrab from London Evening Standard,  http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/social-cleansing-row-over-bid-to-move-newham-council-tenants-7675561.html


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when's the divorce?

The BBC describes the Stadium deal as an "unavoidable marriage". We're left to wonder exactly how much Newham paid for the wedding present?. Coe's concerns weren't for footie of course or he'd have done some research:

"Whisper it quietly, but football fans rarely want to watch football in an Olympic Stadium".


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Honours even?

The New Year’s Honours list revealed interesting definitions of what it is to be heroic. Sports men and women like Wiggins, Ennis and Ainslie were granted top honours and Lord Coe became a Companion of Honour, a special honour given for service of conspicuous national importance and limited to 65 people at any one time.


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Democratic deficit

The principal legacy of the Olympics, apart from the endless lying, seems to be they just stop people thinking. Now John Armitt has said infrastructure projects should follow the example of the Olympics - they should get cross party support and politicians shouldn't interfere! It should just be down to a quango to decide on projects like building nuclear power stations or new runways. So don't ask questions and just dish out the dosh to the corporations.


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London Plays Games - Podcast

"Mega-events, such as the Olympic Games, have often been described as a preferred tool of place promotion and marketing and a primary connection between the local and the global. The Olympics are a global spectacle literally taking place in a single locale. Olympic Games are tightly interwoven into the urban economy and (re-)development schemes. They are also an increasingly important driver in the creation of new leisure and consumption spaces and the interests of international property firms. Like all mega-events, the Olympics are almost exclusively urban phenomena that require large public and private investments."


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