26September2022

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Impact of the Decision To Leave the EU

Impact of the Decision To Leave the EU

It is now clear that the British people have made the choice to leave the European Union. The countr...


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Olympics ‘Accelerated Regeneration of East London by 60 Years’

Placing the Olympics in east London accelerated the regeneration of the area by 60 years, Tessa Jowell told a House of Lords select committee.. Jowell, who was secretary of state for culture, media and sport under the Labour government, was speaking at one of a series of hearings that the House of Lords select committee on the Olympic and Paralympic legacy is holding. On 12 June both Jowell and former London mayor Ken Livingstone appeared at the inquiry. 

Jowell said: 'Nobody doubted that, by hosting the Olympics in East London, it could be transformational. You would create a new quarter of London. By general consent—and we used to say this, Ken, to each other—in six years this accelerated the regeneration of that area by 60 years.'

She also talked about the success of the legacy, and her confidence in it, saying: 'I have confidence in legacy delivery. Let me perhaps point to the evidence. The fact that the eight venues in the Olympic Park are now let to long-term legacy management is unprecedented. No Olympic city has ever achieved that degree of pre-planning of the legacy, and this was again something that Ken and I very much did together. We were absolutely clear that we wanted, if we won, an Olympics in East London to be not just transformative of 150 hectares of degraded contaminated land, but also that we would see a change in the economies of the five and then six boroughs that immediately surrounded the Park. Two of those five are the most deprived boroughs in the country. We saw a potential not just for physical legacy, but also legacy in terms of building human capital, addressing the shortage of skills, addressing the shortage of jobs and the general degradation of parts of those boroughs, all of which are beginning to see change as a result of the Olympics.

'There are risks that come with that. Very specifically, for the Olympic Park we deliberately ensured that the residential accommodation in the Athletes’ Village was 50% social housing and 50% privately rented, and so 50% of it is run by the Delancey consortium, which is also going to have an interest in the second phase of residential development, up by the press and broadcast centre. We also have the Triathlon housing association owning 1,320 flats in the Village, which ensures that there will be social tenants alongside privately renting tenants, in order to maintain the diversity of what will be a new neighbourhood in that area. Many people will basically be living and going to work in the Olympic Park, which is something I have to get my head round. It seems miraculous even now that people will live in what was the Olympic Village and go to work in what was the press and broadcast centre. The structures for the Park are there and there are three elements to the legacy: commercial, sporting and cultural.'

Source: Landscape Institute - Olympics 'Accelerated Regeneration of East London by 60 Years'