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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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chopped

Carpenters timeline: updated 8 May 2013Carpenters timeline: updated 8 May 2013


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To the Manor born - 15% affordable housing in the Aftermath Zone?

Back in September Games Monitor reported that the amount of affordable housing in the Aftermath Zone (it's time to think of some more imaginative names than the QEII Park - suggestions welcome) would be reduced to 28%. The LLDC had waited to reveal this to, of all people, an American Community Land Trust organiser, Greg Rosenberg, who was visiting London to promote CLTs.


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Regeneration and Well-Being in East London: Stories from Carpenters Estate

The report makes unsettling reading. It highlights how residents’ well-being across a number of key dimensions (housing, livelihoods and participation) has been undermined by the protracted and ongoing regeneration process itself.


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West Ham to get hammered again?

As expected West Ham are the preferred bidders for the Olympic stadium. The usual claims of hundreds of jobs, legacy benefits, more visitors to the Park, social inclusion, community involvement and profit sharing if the club sells up accompanied the announcement. Actually, as with the rest of the Olympics, this has far more to do with property development and the prospects for making a killing on the redevelopment of the old Green Street ground. Of course, if the owners did sell out it might well be because the club was bankrupt or the owners were experiencing financial difficulties, they already have debts of over £80 million, so there might well not be any profits to share. As for the idea that a football club will attract more visitors to the Park I wasn't aware that many people visit Green Street because West Ham are located there. On the contrary, especially on match days it may have the opposite effect with people trying to avoid the crowds.


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It's the East End stupid!

The Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) has been at it again. Following its espousal of the as yet uninhabited E20 postcode it is now predicting a boom based on the vibrant technology, creative and media sectors of the East End. However, this is located not in the attractive E20 zone but in the areas of Shoreditch, Hoxton and Bethnal Green. Of course, these are not usually associated with London 2012 but, no matter, a plug is still given to the Olympics, which supposedly accelerated the trend and brought with it a housing and transport infrastructure boom! That the Athletes' Village remains unoccupied and no housing has yet been built on the Olympic Park, no new transport infrastructure was introduced as a result of the Olympics and E20 and the Shoreditch, Hoxton, Bethnal Green areas are several miles apart are insignificant details to the researchers with their 'unparalleled range of skills and expertise'.


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What's in a postcode?

Now the athletes have departed it's time to sell the real estate! First up is East Village, formerly known as the Athletes' Village. It seems the owners have asked the Centre for Economic and Business Research, which claims to provide 'leading economic forecasts and analysis', to help with offloading the stock. CEBR waxes lyrical over the advantages of the new E20 postcode in its 'unbiased and informative' presentation of the 'impressive liveability factors' it identifies.


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Ambulance thefts? Must be al Qaeda

According to 'sources' more ambulances were stolen during the Olympics than usual. The security services were apparently concerned this might indicate an al Qaeda attack was imminent. Why al Qaeda would want to draw attention to themselves by stealing lots of ambulances and why they would leave it to the last moment to execute these thefts is not explained.


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