The London Olympics and Urban Development: The Mega-Event City

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Gavin Poynter, Valerie Viehoff, Yang Li
Routledge, Jul 24, 2015 - Business & Economics - 362 pages

As London sought to use the Olympics to achieve an ambitious programme of urban renewal in the relatively socially deprived East London it attracted global attention and sparked debate. This book provides an in-depth study of the transformation of East London as a result of the 2012 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games. Government and event organisers use legacies of urban renewal to justify hosting the world’s leading sports mega-event, this book examines and evaluates those legacies.

The London Olympics and Urban Development: the mega-event city is composed of new research, conducted by academics and policy makers. It combines case study analysis with conceptual insight into the role of a sports mega-events in transforming the city. It critically assesses the narrative of legacy as a framework for legitimizing urban changes and examines the use of this framework as a means of evaluating the outcomes achieved.

This book is about that process of renewal, with a focus on the period following the 2012 Games and the diverse social, political and cultural implications of London’s use of the narrative of legacy.


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transforming East
from Canary Wharf to the Olympic Park
Measuring and assessing the impacts of London 2012
legacies of gift debt and unequal
Localism and a sustainable Olympic legacy
the case of the Lower Lea Valley
edgeland clearance
Paralympic branding
A big legacy? Evaluating volunteers experiences of London
London 2012 and sport for its own sake

and outcomes
commercialisation of public space
a 5year
recruitment selection
The Olympic regeneration of East London in the official
English national newspaper coverage
a London model?

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About the author (2015)

Gavin Poynter is Professor Emeritus at the School of Social Sciences, University of East London and Chair, London East Research Institute, UK.

Valerie Viehoff is a Research Fellow at the Geography Department, University of Bonn, Germany.

Yang Li is Senior Research Follow, Centre for Geo-Information Studies, University of East London, UK.

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