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Not quite the Olympics, but a cable car

Over the weekend plans were announced in the media for a cable car crossing the Thames between the 2012 venues The Dome and Excel Centre, perhaps in time for 2012. But it seems this isn't an entirely new brainwave from Bojo and his chums.

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High Street 2012 & the London Festival of Architecture

High Street 2012 is an initiative that will use the 2012 Games as a catalyst for improvements to the A11/A118 corridor through the centre of Tower Hamlets (taking in Whitechapel High Street, Whitechapel Road, Mile End Road and Bow Road) and on into Stratford in Newham. See also: Stratford High Street public realm improvements

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The 'largest new park in Europe for 150 years' - in Germany

One of the proudest boasts of the 2012 London Olympics was that it would create the largest new urban park in Europe for 150 years. I asked a Freedom of Information question (see attachment) to discover how the ODA had arrived at this description. They were unable to provide any clear information. All they could say was that they had consulted with 'CABE Space and the London Parks and Green Spaces Forum (who) had assisted the ODA in preparing benchmark studies on parks around the world and in London including previous Olympic Parks.'Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord: Europe's biggest new urban parkLandschaftspark Duisburg-Nord: Europe's biggest new urban park at over 200ha, some 500 acres, was completed in 1999 retaining the industrial archaelogy

Of course, the largest new park is no longer as large as it was having shrunk by 19 hectares. But even when it was 129 hectares its claim to be the largest new urban park in Europe was questionable. A friend recently sent me a link to a park in Duisburg, Germany, constructed on a site with many similarities to the Lea Valley, as it was a former industrial area. At over 200 hectares it is considerably larger than the much vaunted 'largest new park in Europe'.

The Duisburg industrial park shows how the Lea Valley could have been developed in an imaginative way, which illustrated the industrial history of the area, by creating a park based around the rivers and canals linking sites like the Tidal Mill at Three Mills

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Athletics on telly is boring

UK Athletics' chairman, Ed Warner, has moved to patch up his relationship with the BBC, visiting the commentary team at the world championships in Osaka to explain comments last week in which he lambasted their coverage as stale, tired and "stuck in the past". Those remarks went down badly among BBC executives who believe the problem lies with the sport itself and point to the many empty seats in Osaka as evidence.

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Tennis 'Masters Cup' moving to London

The men's international tennis circuit will end with a prestigious final in London from 2009 under a four-year contract announced on Wednesday. The Masters Cup, staged in Shanghai for the last two years, is being renamed the ATP World Tour Final and is being switched to London's O2 Arena, formerly known as the Millennium Dome.

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