London 2012 is set to be one the most ambitious Olympic Games ever to have taken place. Already a successful global city London has set itself a unique challenge – not simply to deliver a successful Olympic Games but to regenerate its most socio-economically challenged area of the city.
The boroughs which will host 2012 are amongst the most deprived areas in the United Kingdom. The aim from the preparation of the bid was to address this long term challenge. Everyone involved in the delivery of 2012 and the economic development of London is under no illusion that simply by hosting the Olympics a century of deprivation will be eradicated. But accelerating 30-50 years of regeneration and infrastructure investment can create new economic opportunity.
London’s continued economic competitiveness is directly linked to delivering the socio-economic legacy for East London. East London is both London’s available and spare economic capacity and asset base, and also the place with the most severe socio-economic challenges. London wants to retain global strengths and celebrate its economic diversity more substantially, at the same time as becoming a greener and more inclusive city.
East London can help London with economic diversification, with the growth of new clean tech industries and the emergence of other strengths in creative industries, media, logistics, aerospace, and tourism. At the same time, East London is critical to London becoming a greener and more inclusive city; it has the biggest concentrations of polluted land and disadvantaged populations.
Substantial and significant progress has been made in London both to prepare for hosting the 2012 Olympic Games and to secure from them a lasting legacy and wider local benefits. However, it is important to recognise at the outset the complexity of the task facing London and UK authorities in crafting a multi-party legacy and benefits programme.
London and UK government have put in place some special arrangements to capture the benefits of hosting the Olympic Games well in advance of the Games themselves. This is a notable and important dimension of the UK arrangements.
Although many cities have achieved a significant legacy, and several have planned actively in advance to achieve it, few cities will have prepared for it as directly and consciously as London has. The London Games are being substantially staged and organised in order to derive such benefits and arrangements to optimise outcomes have been in place for some time, and are in continuous evolution.
Table of contents
PART ONE: The OECD LEED Programme’s conceptual framework: how cities and nations can capture local benefits from global events
PART TWO: London 2012 Olympics legacy planning in East London - key findings and observations
PART THREE: The role of events in stimulating job creation and enterprise growth – what lessons for London?
Appendix – Observations from the peer review cities:
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For further information, please contact the author Ms Debra Mountford.