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Legacy

More lying about the Olympic regeneration of East London

Nick Whitten recently posted a guest contribution by Matthew Black of estate agents CBRE on the Estates Gazette Olympics Blog. On their website CBRE describe themselves as 'key property adviser' to the now defunct London Development Agency in relation to the London 2012 Olympic Games bid.

In his contribution Mr Black wrote of the Olympic Park:

It also had its issues including heavily contaminated ground, buildings that were no longer fit for purpose, electricity pylons crossing the whole site and Europe's largest redundant fridge mountain. This was an opportunity to revitalise an area of London that had suffered from a lack of investment for a number of decades and the Games was the opportunity to rectify this and bring it back to becoming a core part of London again.


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Local Heroes

By Leah Borromeo

The motto of the Games is "inspire a generation". However, not everyone is enthused. Londoners from the poorest parts of the city facing major upheavals from losing their homes, livelihoods and public spaces to the mercy of a few weeks of medal-chasing over the summer. They believe that the Olympics gave local councils and big business an excuse for a land grab - in which the community had little or no say. When they voice their opposition, they are hushed by the machinery of bureaucracy, the suppression of protest and the reality of losing the roofs over their heads. But their concerns are as real as the Games itself, which have received some £9.3bn in UK public funding. Community life will continue long after the athletes, the fans and the confetti have gone. I spent a week listening to and gathering the stories of Londoners shouting at the walls of an Olympic Jericho.

Joe Alexander: Photo: Leah BorromeoPhoto: Leah Borromeo

Joe Alexander, 38, is in property maintenance. He lives on the Carpenters Road estate and is vice chair of the local campaign group Carpenters Against Regeneration Plans. I spent the day with Joe - a quiet, eloquent divorcee and father who moved to Stratford in London's East End in the hopes of starting a new life


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AdiZones: Rewriting the 2012 Olympic Legacy as Permanent Branding

By Alberto Duman

Right from the outset, the notion of “legacy” has been predominant in articulating the value of hosting the 2012 Olympic and Paralympics Games in East London, the argument being that the long-term regeneration benefits would ultimately prevail over the aggressive land restructuring, everyday disruption and unbalanced socio-economic shifts characteristic of the years leading up to the 2012 Games. Subsequent to the awarding of the 2012 Games, the emphasis placed on such explicit non-sporting benefits as added long-term values has been confirmed as one of the most decisive assets of the London bid, contributing a great deal to the final awarding decision by the IOC.[1] This legacy, we are told, is why the London 2012 Games will be “unique” and “different”, a pledge clearly spelled out through “five promises to set the scale of our ambition”:

  1. To make the UK a world-leading sporting nation
  2. To transform the heart of East London
  3. To inspire a generation of young people
  4. To make the Olympic Park a blueprint for sustainable living
  5. To demonstrate the UK is a creative, inclusive and welcoming
    place to live in, visit and for business.[2]

Although the national dimension of these ambitions is clearly emphasised, a more specific focus is placed on “transforming the heart of East London”, to “create a well-planned and well-managed environment in and around the Olympic Park which will attract business investment and promote recreational and cultural use for years to come”.[3]


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In search of legacies lost

The former Arena Field, site of the Media Centre, in 2008The former Arena Field, site of the Media Centre, in 2008

Runners are sent ahead to drum up excitement; the circus rolls into town, and the people pay. Show over and profits taken, the circus pulls out, leaving behind mere memories and mess.

The five ring circus works on similar lines over a longer eight-year timescale. Why did London agree to host this circus? The time to reject a London Olympics was during the bid stage


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Historic Olympic Protest Torch Relay in East London

Historic Olympic Protest Torch Relay in East London

(Contact Julian Cheyne after 1pm on 020-3560 4064 and 07988 401216)

Press Release from Counter Olympics Network – 16th July 2012


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legacy lost

Spread from Occupied Times: Occupied Times 15
My piece in Occupied Times 15 'In Search Of Legacies Lost' will soon appear here, fully referenced (at time of writing it remains embargoed).


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An introduction to the social impacts of the Olympics

The Olympics project is large and complex. In this revised version of our previous paper of the same name, we draw your attention to significant impacts, the paucity of procedures for impact evaluation, and the processes surrounding the bidding for, and promotion of, the Olympic event.


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drop in, tune out

Anyone whose experience of ODA 'drop-in' style consultations has been one of bitter frustration and disappointment might enjoy letting this 2-hour recording play in the background.


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The Olympic Fringe: A postgraduate study

I have just stumbled across this document published by the LSE Cities Programme

In "2009-10 the focus was on the areas surrounding East London's massive Olympic Park development: Hackney Wick, Fish Island, Sugarhouse Lane, Carpenter's Estate, Stratford Town Centre and Leyton. How will they benefit from the regeneration projects promised for this largely deprived part of London? Students suggested some interventions, emphasising the role small, local projects could play in the growth and change of the Olympic fringe sites.


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