Olympics as Catalyst

“By staging the Games in the [Lower Lea Valley] ….. the most enduring legacy of the Olympics will be the regeneration of an entire community for the direct benefit of everyone who lives there.”

page 19, London Olympic Bid book, 2005

Senior management from one of the consortiums bidding for the overall Olympic Delivery Partner contract on a site visit near the Lea Valley Cycle circuit. May 2006

Senior management from one of the consortiums bidding for the overall Olympic Delivery Partner contract on a site visit near the Lea Valley Cycle circuit. May 2006

The radical transformations which have been imposed in the Lower Lea Valley around the occasion of the London Olympic Games of 2012 have been initiated and constructed according to the plans and decisions of what has been described as a  ‘Growth Coalition’.

” I didn’t bid for the Olympics because I wanted three weeks of sport. I bid for the Olympics because it’s the only way to get the billions of pounds out of the government to develop the East End – to clean the soil, put in the infrastructure and build the housing.” Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London. 2008

Soil storage site. Eton Manor, Ruckholt Road. 2009

Soil storage site. Eton Manor, Ruckholt Road. 2009

“…investment in accessible and affordable education, health and communications technology, along with a diversified job creation strategy is far more likely to have long-term benefits for urban economic and social well-being than investment in elite mega-sports events and infrastructure”
C Michael Hall, Urban entrepreneurship, corporate interests and sports mega-events: The thin policies of competitiveness within the hard outcomes of neoliberalism, in; Sports Mega-events, Social scientific analyses of a global phenomenon. eds. John Horne & Wolfram Manzenreiter, Blackwell, (2006)

Kevin Sugrue, of development specialists Renaisi, selling the importance of grasping Olympic opportunities to  Hackney residents. 2006

Kevin Sugrue, of development specialists Renaisi, selling the importance of grasping Olympic opportunities to Hackney residents. 2006

See also: World Class Games in East London (A5 PDF download) This is a brief outline (written 2011) of some of the main contradictions which arrive with the Olympic project. It is one of a number of background essays available from the Games Monitor website here and here.

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