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London 2012

The Olympic stadium - it's all Crystal clear

While they are trying to figure out what to do with their East London white elephant in Stratford the LLDC has 'ambitious' plans to get its hands on the summer athletics grand prix, usually held at that other place in South London, er Crystal Palace? So that's a two for the price of one legacy of white elephants then?


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What? Now it's 'the largest new urban park for a century' - in the world?

The lie of the 'Largest new park in Europe' has now become so well established that the Press regularly restates it and other Legacy myths even when the Olympic authorities don't use the term. Both the Evening Standard and the Huffington PostUK have informed their readers that the Olympic Park will be the 'largest new urban park for a century'. No attempt is made by these publications to distinguish between the different definitions of the Park, the Olympic Park as a whole, which includes the housing, stadiums and other facilities, and the park or green space. It is the latter space that the ODA and others have successfully sold as this illusory 'Largest new park in Europe' not the Olympic Park as a whole to which these journalists refer. Now the journalists just call it 'the largest new urban park for a century' - what, in the whole world?


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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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Oh! What a lovely legacy!

London 2012 gets another award! In December the Estates Gazette presented the London Legacy Development Corporation with its Outstanding Contribution to Property award to celebrate 'the outstanding progress London has made in securing a lasting legacy'. Outstanding progress? We can’t even get into the Park!


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Can the London 2012 Olympics ‘inspire a generation’? - An overview of systematic reviews

Can the London 2012 Olympics ‘inspire a generation’ to do more physical or sporting activities?

An overview of systematic reviews

Article focus

Increased levels of physical activity are linked with improved health and may play a key role in the prevention or treatment of most noncommunicable diseases.

The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games aims to leave a long-term legacy, which includes population level increases in physical and sporting activity.

We conducted a systematic review of systematic reviews to establish whether hosting an Olympic games leads to increased participation in such activities.


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Celebration Capitalism!

The Guardian led the way recently with its poll claiming almost 80% of respondents thought the Olympics had cheered Britain up. Hardly surprising considering the constant repetition in the media of the wonders of the Games. In the summer at the height of the medal winning frenzy the Guardian’s poll at the time only found 55% thought the Games worthwhile. When considering whether the Olympics were worth the money the Grauniad relied on the Government’s faulty £9 billion price tag rather than the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee’s £11 billion or Sky Sports’ more radical up to £24 billion total. However, in other respects the poll had less comfort to offer. 61% considered Britain’s status in the world had diminished in 2012 while 51% thought Britain will still be stuck in a slump at the end of 2013.


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Lies and ignorance about the legacy - it's not academic

No wonder people get confused about Stratford City, the Athletes’ Village, the Olympic Park and the Legacy. Earlier in the autumn we had the fiction from the Centre for Economic and Business Research of the 'highly rated' E20 postcode's Chobham Academy even though it hadn't yet opened. Recently the Academy opened its doors to children who wanted to apply. The Evening Standard told us the Chobham Academy is an Olympic Legacy, forgetting to mention that it's the community school described in the West Leyton part of the Stratford City project, created under a separate non-Olympic planning application and not an Olympic legacy. Another commentator, the recently launched London Olympic Park Watch, which describes itself as an 'independent...constructively critical observer', says the school is 'in the Olympic Park' which of course it isn't. Stratford City, where the Academy, like the Athletes’ Village, is situated, is not in the Olympic Park but on the Stratford Rail Lands, the large piece of land which includes the Westfield Shopping Centre.


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Another miraculous (cycling) legacy

The Olympics is that dream event, even when something goes wrong it goes right. Another accidental cycling legacy was discovered a while back by the hard legacy hunting British media. TfL told them that more people in London, 19 percent during the Olympics and 32 percent during the Paralympics, took to their bikes. Why? According to the Standard it was 'to escape packed Tubes and buses'. Of course, what is even more remarkable is that Londoners and out of town commuters had stayed at home or out of London for precisely the same reason, following the dire warnings from the very same TfL, and of course blond bomber Boris, of over-crowded public transport, leaving the Tube and Central London deserted during the first week of the Games. This had, of course, created the Miracle on the Underground when the system did not go into massive overload.


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