Hallmark (Mega-) events – Fourth Period “City of Renewal”
“ The hosting of mega-events is often deliberately exploited in an attempt to ‘rejuvenate’ or develop urban areas through the construction and development of new infrastructure..road and rail networks, airports, sewage and housing” (Hall, 1992)
Contemporary Olympics – mega-events, alongside…
International EXPOs / World [Trade] Fairs – C18/19 France, UK, colonies, USA; Regenerating Montreal, Seville, Lisbon
World/Euro Cups (and smaller sporting & cultural events)
European City/Capitals of Culture Regenerating Glasgow Liverpool ’08 [+ earlier Garden Festivals], Istanbul ’10
Barcelona 1988-1993 pre-post Games 1994-2000 Cultural Forum 2001- city extension, Poblenou
Beijing – 2008 a coming out party for a nation emerging from a century of humiliation and chaos to become one of the most powerful economies on the planet
In north Beijing, the official Olympic site is called a “park”, a common
Olympic site designation. However this was a busy residential and
workshop area. Razed by bulldozers, for months afterwards traders
with donkey carts scavenged in the rubble for bricks and timber before
the soil was covered in plastic sheeting and fenced off behind
corrugated walls (Sudjic, 2005: 116).
Beijing is spending between 200-250 billion yuan on transport
improvements - about 17 times its budget for sporting venues.
residents participated in the recommended target of 30
minutes of moderate exercise three times a week, half
the rate in the west London boro’s of Richmond &
Kensington (29%) ( Sport England 2006)
‘ ..the journey of the Olympic torch in 2012 will end among some
of the laziest and least sporting communities in the UK..the least
likely to leave their couches to take some form of recreational
exercise’ ( Curtis , 2006: 9)
‘ Sporting and cultural opportunities can play an important part in re-engaging disaffected sections of the community, building shared social capital and grass roots leadership through improved cross-cultural interaction ’. Building Cohesive Communities (Home Office 2002) Olympics coach potatoes or mass participants ?
“ mixed picture.. difficult to attribute it to Olympic Games” (Veal 2003)
7 [small] increases
Non-Olympic sports : similar patterns
Biggest increase in non-competitive walking
Impact of Sydney Olympics on sports participation Game Plan “ ..it would seem that hosting events is not an effective, value for money, method of achieving… a sustained increase in mass participation “ Manchester Commonwealth Games : negligible local impacts
Give communities the freedom to decide for themselves how they want to use each part, each space…the measure of success is the way that spaces are used, the diversity of activities which they attract, and the opportunities they provide for creative reinterpretation (Hertzberger, 1991)
New East Enders New housing it is hoped, will also attract residents to 3,600 apartments in the Olympic village and 9,000 in the Olympic Park area as a whole . However, the regional masterplan for the swathe of east London along the Lea Valley plans new housing and amenities which allows for facility standards to be designed at only 60% of the national standard
Employment If the Lower Lea Valley is to be transformed - socially as well as physically - then these are the people who need to access new employment opportunities. Sustainable regeneration will require a genuine increase in the local employment rate - not just the result of highly skilled population moving in and displacing the indigenous lower skilled one (Vigor 2006).
Deprivation 20% of the adult population in the Thames Gateway have no formal qualifications and half of the children live in workless households… 2007 IMD
London told: 'Don't expect a boom from the Olympics'
Study is sceptical about impact of 2012 Games
May 13, 2007 Observer
“ Assurances that the London Olympics in 2012 will create a boom in jobs, tourism and sports participation are unlikely to be fulfilled, warns a report commissioned by the capital's political leaders. Promises that the event will bring 50,000 jobs, affordable new housing on a large scale and contracts for small businesses in east London where the Games will be held will prove very difficult to honour, according to the study prepared for the London Assembly”
Olympic benefits experienced by the past 4 cities - Athens, Sydney, Atlanta and Barcelona - suggests that London will find it hard to realise its ambitions of regenerating boroughs around the Olympic area, which rank among the poorest places in Britain.
2012 may struggle to make any serious difference to unemployment in London:
Long-term unemployed and workless communities were largely unaffected by the staging of the Games in each of the 4 cities. Much of the employment was temporary, and there was also little evidence that volunteer skills transferred to the post-Games economy MacRury 2007
Greece actually lost 70,000 jobs in the three months following the  Games, mostly in the construction industry. However, Sydney in 2000 and Barcelona in 1992 did enjoy some growth in jobs and inward investment from firms relocating.
Legacy -it will be 'very challenging' for London to meet its goals on employment, sports participation, skills, tourism and disability awareness. Aims for urban renewal, environment and the economy are 'challenging', while only community participation plans are deemed 'feasible'.
Government appraisal guidance recognises that as well as external economic factors, there is a need for longer term evaluation in order to capture their sustained impacts, as the HM Treasury review noted:
‘ The value of long-term benefit need to be brought into the appraisal process’ (2003). From a regeneration assessment perspective, the main issues which should be borne in mind are:
Valuation in this area tends to be highly context specific and requires bespoke investigations. There are limited possibilities for the use of techniques such as benefits transfer, CBA..
As with environmental impacts, irreversible impacts can be of significant importance
How and which costs and benefits are valued is of particular importance, including less tangible factors and perceptions. Valuing benefits requires greater consideration since as the Review concluded this aspect has been done poorly in the past and the NAO has criticised many projects for not describing, and managing the realisation of benefits, i.e. there is endemic over-optimism in project feasibility and projections, notably on capital costs….