Shaping the legacy of the city of London has been foremost in planners’ minds since the initial development began in 2002, and efforts to ensure regeneration of East London are now taking shape in the regeneration of Olympic Park. The site has been identified by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors as an area that, with a proper focus on infrastructure and new homes, could lead to a lasting legacy of improvement for East London and other areas of the city. Great strides have already been made in an ongoing process and officials believe the benefits will be evident once the Olympic Games begin, and locals as well as visitors experience the regeneration efforts and improved infrastructure in practice. For more on this continue reading the following article from Property Wire.
The regeneration of the Olympic Park site and associated infrastructure will be a crucial step in providing a lasting building and property legacy in East London after the 2012 Olympics, according to new research published by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
The independent research, commissioned by RICS with the University of Westminster, compares the planning and delivery of the Games in London with the approach of other host cities in delivering regeneration associated with six previous major sporting events.
The report highlights London’s focus on legacy from the outset as a key factor in planning for lasting benefit and the Games provide a unique opportunity to stimulate the regeneration of the heart of East London with the delivery of new homes and infrastructure on and around the site. Other regeneration initiatives nearby, such as Stratford City, are also vital in providing wider regeneration and opportunities for East Londoners.
Although the challenges of the global economic downturn impacted on private sector investment the commitment of Government and the involvement of the host boroughs and wider stakeholders have been crucial in bringing in this project, with a focus throughout on improving the lives and opportunities of East Londoners, RICS says.
RICS hopes that the good practice shown in London will help those involved in planning major sporting events in future and highlights key elements that have helped make this project a success such as the location of the Olympic Park which has good transport to central London and this makes it a good candidate for regeneration.
Another plus is that legacy planning has been a priority from the earliest stage in 2002 as set identified in the Select Committee report that set out the aims for London and the involvement of a wide range of stakeholders was essential in planning legacy aims.
RICS also highlights the government’s support for regeneration and a lasting legacy which it describes as ‘unequivocal’ and adds that this will be essential for the longer term regeneration in east London that will take many years.
Also legacy aims have been built on strategic plans for London’s future and were associated with existing regeneration projects as the focus has been on the transformation of east London beyond the Olympic Park, not just on the site.
RICS adds that social and economic regeneration will make a difference to the lives of east Londoners and are at the heart of the London Host Boroughs’ convergence aims.
‘The regeneration of East London around the Olympic Park has been a major success story. It now boasts some of the best transport links in the Capital, the biggest shopping centre in Europe and has brought thousands of jobs to the area,’ said Hugh Robertson, Minister for Sport and the Olympics.
‘But there is still much more to come and its full impact won’t be felt until the years after 2012. World class parks, sporting facilities and affordable housing will all benefit the lives of East Londoners in the future, leaving a real, local legacy. The project is a real triumph for both British construction and public sector management,’ he added.
Roger Hepher, chair of RICS London policy group, said that the 2012 legacy report shows that London has done remarkably well in laying the foundations for lasting legacy, especially considering the difficult economic circumstances of the last three years.
‘However the real legacy challenge lies ahead in delivering post Games activity and development and in ensuring that the benefits spread out across the host Boroughs and beyond. The ongoing commitment of all involved will be needed to breathe life into the wider fabric of east London in the years ahead,’ he explained.
‘The publication of this report comes as London approaches the point where the plan for legacy must give way to delivery and when the real challenge will be to fulfil the potential of the 2012 Games in transforming the lives of East Londoners,’ he added.
This article was republished with permission from Property Wire.