Long-term legacy implications for Olympic Games
Editors: Raj, R. and Musgrave, J.
Place of Publication: Wallingford, UK
Celebrations have been occurring throughout history from the commemoration of phases of the moon, to historical and cultural festivals in addition to life cycle celebrations of birth, marriage and death. Events came about through the commercialisation of popular celebrations and in the UK as our population becomes more culturally diverse, so do the events appearing showing diversifying into the leisure and every aspect of people’s everyday lives. All these events have impacts and legacies and the larger the size of event the greater these ‘consequences’, with the Olympics having the greatest impacts and legacies. These large scale events also have major benefits including destination image and urban developments, the legacy left behind after the event is held. In order for these benefits to maximise the long-term potential, legacy planning as early as possible is paramount. Case studies of the Sydney Games show that whilst they have been known as ‘the best games ever’ their legacy planning post the games, beginning in 2000, were negligible and the consequences of this are on-going. For the organisers of the Barcelona 1992 Games, their built environment and the re-modelling of the city, was part of a larger scale long-term redevelopment and their legacy planning was part of an overall vision for the city.
What appears to be a long-term strategic plan for London, especially in relation to the social impacts of the four main boroughs involved in the staging of the 2012 Games, could become known as the ‘London’ model of urban rejuvenation for future mega-event planners, particularly in relation to the long-term future legacy. This chapter sets put to evaluate the lessons learned from the past Games of Sydney and Barcelona in relation to legacy planning, especially the social consequences, and the ‘best-practice’ lessons to be incorporated within the London 2012 planning in relation to future long-term legacies. London won the right to host the 2012 games on the basis of their regeneration plans for an area of London in socially deprived conditions. All the ‘paper’ promises within the bid document talk of the major regeneration project with the associated large scale spend on infrastructure, it is vital that the promises are turned into long-term viable legacy.