I visited the recently opened part of the Olympic Park on what turned out to be one of the hottest days of the year to have a look around. It took a while to take it all in. My most surprising discovery was the almost complete absence of any visible wild life. Apart from pigeons in transit across the space I saw only one wild bird in the three hours I was there. It was probably some kind of Reed Warbler. Hardly surprising given the sheer volume of reeds planted alongside the river. There were small numbers of Damsel Flies, again not surprising given their mobility along the river.
Submitted by Martin Slavin on Thu, 08/08/2013 - 12:59.
Fish were killed in numbers on Tuesday July 23 by Oxygen depletion of the River Lee downstream of Deephams sewage works in Tottenham. Climate change has created the conditions for an exceptional heatwave to become a more frequent possibility.
The amount of water extracted upstream for human use is considerable. Downstream about 50% of the water body is treated sewage. During the dry summer months, due to water extraction, there simply isn't enough water-flow to provide a reliable supply of oxygen. The amount of water in the river system is reduced during a rain free heatwave.
Submitted by Martin Slavin on Tue, 23/07/2013 - 19:08.
It's Not For Us
This paper examines the much-hyped 2012 Olympic Games ‘legacy’ in relation to the displacement experiences of lower-income East Londoners. The paper begins by outlining the overall context of housing-related regeneration including the reduced role for social housing, especially council (public) housing in London.
Submitted by Martin Slavin on Wed, 12/06/2013 - 08:18.
The fraught disputes over how best to recoup the high construction and maintenance costs of the London Olympic stadium conform to a pattern previously seen elsewhere in England and abroad. The story of the Don Valley stadium in Sheffield provides a cautionary tale of how the visionary delusions of ambitious politicians end up ruining the chances of ordinary people gaining adequate access to affordable opportunities for healthy recreation.
Submitted by Martin Slavin on Wed, 01/05/2013 - 16:05.
Went to the latest UEL/LLDC seminar on Sustainability last week and got into a bit of a spat with the speakers and another member of the audience over the sustainability example of London 2012. Samantha Heath of London Sustainability Exchange told us how she had, almost single-handedly, got Ken Livingstone to subscribe to sustainability targets of various kinds back in 2002 to 2004 when she was a member of the Greater London Assembly and how this all depended on Ken making top down decisions, all of which may be true. She had just been telling us what a wonderful example of sustainability the London Olympics had been and how it had created a new culture in the UK. I had to disagree with her that the Olympics had been such a sustainability success given, among other things, the botched remediation, the farce of the turbines and the failure to use the canals to shift materials, none of which she disputed. Another member of the audience chipped in about the sponsors and again she agreed this had not been a success, although she was keen on the torch relay which was a puzzle given the advertising platform it provided for Coca Cola.
Submitted by Julian Cheyne on Mon, 25/03/2013 - 15:53.
A website has begun publishing news and comment about the Olympic Park. It is called London Olympic Park Watch. It
"...aims to be an independent, balanced, open-minded, and constructively critical, observer of the next phase in the life of the Olympic Park."
Submitted by Martin Slavin on Sat, 24/11/2012 - 14:42.
Submitted by Martin Slavin on Fri, 10/08/2012 - 20:39.
BRITISH Waterways has ceased to exist in England and Wales and in its place Canal & River Trust (CART) has at last been created to care for the waterways.
Submitted by Martin Slavin on Wed, 04/07/2012 - 10:46.
Anyone whose experience of ODA 'drop-in' style consultations has been one of bitter frustration and disappointment might enjoy letting this 2-hour recording play in the background.
Submitted by Steve Dowding on Wed, 16/05/2012 - 19:49.
Anticipating the effect of the Coalition’s Local Housing Allowance reforms
The Government paid out £8bn in Housing Benefit in England in 2009/10, of which £1.5bn was spent in London. In an attempt to reduce this, a number of changes are being introduced to the Local Housing Allowance (LHA), which sets the maximum amount of rent that can be met from Housing Benefit. From 2011 LHA is being reduced from the median level of local rents to the 30th percentile and an absolute limit is being imposed on the allowance. From 2013, LHA will be increased in line with consumer price inflation (CPI) not with rents themselves. Cumulative CPI inflation between 1997/8 and 2007/8, for England, was 20%, compared with 70% for rents.
Submitted by Martin Slavin on Sun, 13/05/2012 - 10:54.