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Living with the Event: The Extent to which the London 2012 Olympic Games Regeneration is Contributing to Socially Sustainable Communities in East London

Part 2 Dissertation 2012
Loretta Collins
University of Huddersfield Huddersfield UK
This dissertation explores the extent to which the London 2012 Olympic Games regeneration is contributing to the creation of socially sustainable communities in east London. The impact of sports event-driven regeneration is a controversial issue among researchers, theorists, designers and the residents of the hosting cities. Despite efforts from various cities, it is still recognised that this form of development doesn’t always benefit local communities. The majority of research related to sports event-driven regeneration offers only a general explanation of the impacts on hosting cities. However examination into how these impacts affect the social sustainability of new and existing neighbourhoods is limited thus far.

Through analysing research conducted by others and undertaking primary research, this dissertation focuses on the social sustainability of the physical development directly related to the London 2012 Olympic Games, as well as separate projects catalysed by the event. In order to analyse London’s regeneration, a critical framework of the main contributors to social sustainability was established. Furthermore predictions and statements expressed throughout the study have been supported by the examination of the social outcomes of a previous major regeneration project in east London and previous sports event-driven regeneration projects: The Docklands Development of 1981, the Olympic Games of 1992 (Barcelona) and 2004 (Athens) and the 2002 Commonwealth Games (Manchester). This comparative analysis made it possible to determine the successes and failures of London’s regeneration approaches and establish future recommendations for the project itself (¬where applicable) and for future sports event-driven regeneration.

The findings from this research demonstrate that the London 2012 regeneration is contributing to the creation of socially sustainable communities in some cases, but not in others. The regeneration is successful in promoting social sustainability through implementing regeneration projects in connection with the event, liaising with external organisations to assist in the achievement of initial aims, responding to the social requirements of the area and creating opportunities to support future sustainability. However the regeneration seems to lack consideration for the consultation of the local community and the existing social accomplishments in east London.

Loretta Collins

Mr Gerard Bareham
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