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By Any Means Necessary: Urban Regeneration and the “State of Exception” in Glasgow’s Commonwealth Games 2014

Antipode Vol. 00 No. 0 2014 ISSN 0066-4812, pp 1–21
© 2014 The Author. Antipode © 2014 Antipode Foundation Ltd.

By Any Means Necessary: Urban
Regeneration and the “State of
Exception” in Glasgow’s
Commonwealth Games 2014
Neil Gray
School of Geographical and Earth Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK;
n.gray.2@research.gla.ac.uk
Libby Porter
School of Geography and Environmental Science, Monash University, Victoria, Australia;
libby.porter@monash.edu
Abstract: When compulsory purchase for urban regeneration is combined with a sporting
mega-event, we have an archetypal example of what Giorgio Agamben called the “state of
exception”. Through a study of compulsory purchase orders (CPOs) on the site of the
Athletes’ Village for Glasgow’s 2014 Commonwealth Games, we expose CPOs as a classed
tool mobilised to violently displace working class neighbourhoods. In doing so, we show
how a fictionalised mantra of “necessity” combines neoliberal growth logics with their
obscene underside—a stigmatisation logic that demonises poor urban neighbourhoods.
CPOs can be used progressively, for example to abrogate the power of slum landlords
for social democratic ends, yet with the increasing urbanisation of capital they more often
target marginalised neighbourhoods in the pursuit of land and property valorisation. The
growing use of CPOs as an exceptional measure in urbanisation, we argue, requires urgent
attention in urban political struggles and policy practice.
Keywords: exceptionality, compulsory purchase, territorial stigmatisation, biopolitics,
neoliberal urbanism, Glasgow


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Glasgow’s new urban frontier: ‘Civilising’ the population of ‘Glasgow East’

To cite this article: Neil Gray & Gerry Mooney (2011) Glasgow’s new urban frontier: ‘Civilising’ the
population of ‘Glasgow East’
, City: analysis of urban trends, culture, theory, policy, action, 15:1,
4-24, DOI: 10.1080/13604813.2010.511857

Focusing on Glasgow’s East End, home to the 2014 Commonwealth Games, this paper
explores the ways in which narratives of decline, ‘blight’ and decay play a central role in
stigmatising the local population. ‘Glasgow East’ represents the new urban frontier in a city
that has been heralded in recent decades as a model of successful post-industrial transforma-
tion. Utilising Löic Wacquant’s arguments about advanced marginality and territorial
stigmatisation in the urban context, we argue that narratives of decline and redevelopment
are part of a wider ideological onslaught on the local population, intended to pave the way
for low grade and flexible forms of employment, for punitive workfare schemes and for
upwards rent restructuring. To this end, the media and politicians have played a particu-
larly important role in constructing Glasgow East as a marker of a ‘broken Britain’. While
the focus of this paper is on Glasgow’s East End, the arguments therein have a wider UK
and global resonance, reflected in the numerous cases whereby stigmatised locales of relega-
tion are being re-imagined as elements in wider processes of neo-liberalisation in the city.


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Regeneration, the 2012 Olympics and the gentrification of East London

It's Not For Us

Paul Watt

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. It then sets out a framework for understanding how regeneration, state-led gentrification and displacement are intertwined, as well as how such processes have been contested. The paper examines these issues in greater depth with reference to case studies of the inhabitants of two working class spaces in the London Borough of Newham, an Olympics host borough. The first study is based on the Carpenters Estate, a council housing estate in Stratford that is facing potential demolition, and the second focuses on young people living in a temporary supported housing unit. These studies illustrate how the 2012 Olympics, alongside other regeneration schemes, is changing the nature of space and place from the perspective of existing East London residents and how gentrification is implicated in such transformations. Neither the Carpenters Estate residents nor the young people think that the Olympics and other regeneration schemes in Newham are primarily occurring, if at all, for their benefit indeed, displacement processes may well mean that they are no longer able to live in their current neighbourhood. The Olympics legacy is for others, not for them.


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The Convergence framework

This text first appeared in an assessed essay submitted in February 2013. To the author’s chagrin, the essay (strangled by a 2,000 word limit) barely scraped a pass, but here’s the useful information about the Convergence framework itself. Links/attachments below.

The Convergence document (Strategic Regeneration Framework: An Olympic Legacy for the Host Boroughs) brings together physical and socio-economic regeneration goals for areas containing Olympic venues in east London: Newham, Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Greenwich and Waltham Forest. Barking and Dagenham became a sixth host borough in 2010. Between them they hold “18% of London’s population but 62% of its areas with the highest levels of deprivation” (London Boroughs, 2012, p. 4). The document aims to equalise life chances with the rest of London over a 20-year period. It comprises a series of measurable outputs on regional planning, educational attainment and skills development, reducing worklessness and “benefit dependency” (targeting social housing tenants specifically), tackling overcrowding, fuel poverty, and raising the standard of private accommodation, raising health outcomes and sporting participation rates, and reducing violent crime and anti-social behaviour. The creation of mixed communities through diverse tenure is critical to this vision.

The document is paradigmatic of ‘reflexive government’ (Dean, 1999), where “the liberal and social problematics of security [shift] from … social and economic processes to … governmental mechanisms” (ibid, p. 177). “Convergence targets work towards the virtuous, disciplined and responsible autonomy of citizenry … along with the optimisation of professional performance” (Games Monitor, 2012, p. 21). To a certain extent, the social is reoriented not as something to ‘know’ (that is, as evidence-based) but as a series of markets.

In common with other planning documents, change is presented as transformative [“a tautology”—assessor’s comment], a discourse strategy remarked as central to managerialism by Clarke and Newman (1997). “The focus is on … paradigm shifts involving the … dismantling of … the old social order of the welfare state settlement and the ways of thinking that sustained [it]” (ibid, p. 42). The bureaucracy is identified as leader of change (to [our] knowledge, there has been no public consultation around this document). Its prescriptive discourse makes change appear constructive, achievable and accountable. As a managerialist statement, it “has set the agenda of change, defined its meaning, its direction and the means of its accomplishment. It is the core [document] that other contending positions must negotiate ... In particular, it has established the need to remake organisational forms of the state around the managerial prerogative: the right to manage” (ibid, p. 55). Thus the Convergence document represents a key rationalisation of the Olympic project.

Outcomes

The term ‘social exclusion’ suggests that it is “social relations other than income” (Gough et al, 2006, p. 4) that may exclude, and that “the poor and disadvantaged are excluded from important types of social interaction and social activity” (Sen 1983, cited ibid). Yet use of the term can obscure concerns with inequality (of income and resources) and avoids conception[s] of social justice (ibid). Following Townsend (1979, cited ibid) ‘deprivation’ can be understood as a relative term, and judged against wider consumption norms. Gough et al argue that through the use of these terms, conservative interventionism attempts to relegitimate neoliberal capitalism after the polarisations of the Thatcher years. The tendency (“always a tentative and changeable class settlement”, ibid, p. 189) is described as ‘conservative’, despite an association with New Labour, because of its attachment to organic conservative concerns such as social responsibility, community, inclusion, and local services. It works most effectively at the local scale, addressing spatial concentrations of poverty rather than structural deprivation. The focus is on “patterns of life” (ibid, p. 191) rather than income, to integrate the poor into the lower echelons of the labour market. Policies such as social mix are viewed as reducing class tensions (ibid, p. 196).

When lower-income tenants do gain greater opportunities and access to resources this is little to do with tenure mix; rather “the integration of area-based and people-based policy, as well as decommodified access” to local services “is crucial” (Arbaci and Rae, p. 3). So examining evaluations of the Convergence outcomes (2009–2011 and 2011–2012) we should expect certain improvements from concentrated social investment but not attribute these to social mix policies. In fact, what comes through clearly is the volatility of the national policy context, and the extent to which legislative reforms can sabotage target setting.

Neighbourhoods

The 2011–2012 report notes the Place Survey as abandoned, therefore it was not possible to track street cleanliness, overcrowding (p. 27) or anti-social behaviour (p. 10). In housing, recent legislative changes (including caps on Universal Credit and Local Housing Allowance) are regarded as “likely to impact negatively” (p. 26) on residents due to a higher proportion already on benefits and levels of overcrowding, especially in Hackney and Tower Hamlets (p. 27). The Guardian website (2013) reports that Housing Benefit caps across London are pushing claimants into host boroughs; in Newham, Housing Benefit claimant numbers are up by 41%. There are “significant concerns about the new ‘affordable’ rent regime”, especially for families in larger properties (p. 27). This puts a damper on the delivery of 10,500 affordable units out of 16,500 completions (over 63.6%). The Athletes’ Village is counted within the performance targets, accounting for 79% of new starts in Newham (2009–2011, p. 7). Inside Housing reported (Duxbury, 2010) that Triathlon Homes, developers of the Athletes’ Village, would consider taking future tenants off housing waiting lists only if they were in work. Violent crime increased slightly between 2009–2011 (p. 10), but the gap between the host boroughs and the London average decreased by almost 2% in 2011–2012 (p. 27).

Worklessness

Median earnings 2009–2011 for full-time workers became worse and the gap between the host boroughs and the London average increased from £30.70 to £39.40 per week (2011–2012, p. 14). The interim evaluation of 2011–2012 relied on the temporary posts created by the Olympic event to boost performance. “The boroughs where the employment rate has reduced from the 2009 position are Newham, Tower Hamlets and Hackney. In terms of the unemployment rate the situation since 2009 has worsened in every borough” (ibid). Local schemes put 3,800 people through training (ibid) in 2009–2010.

Health and education

The numbers of people undertaking no sporting activity at all during 2011–2012 rose in Barking and Dagenham, Greenwich and Newham (p. 21). Data for children doing PE at school is no longer collected at the national level (p .25). Better news on educational attainment: targets for pupils achieving at least level 4 in English and Maths at Key Stage 2 were “on track for convergence in 2014/15”, and pupil’s achievement of five GCSE grades A*–C (including English and Maths) has nearly reached its target (p. 16). The significant gap between the host boroughs and London average on child poverty has narrowed slightly (p. 19), and the gap for adults with no qualifications is down 0.9 (p. 18).

References

Arbaci, S. & Rae, I. (2012), ‘Mixed-tenure Neighbourhoods in London: Policy Myth or Effective Device to Alleviate Deprivation?’ International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, doi: 10.1111/j. 1468–2427.2012.01145.x, pp. 1–29 (forthcoming)

Clarke, J. & Newman J. (1997), The Managerial State: Power, Politics and Ideology in the Remaking of Social Welfare, London: Sage

Dean, M. (1999), Governmentality: Power and Rule in Modern Society, London: Sage

Duxbury, N. (2010), ‘Olympic village looks to favour those in work’, Inside Housing, 23 July 2010

Games Monitor (2012), Background Paper on the London 2012 Olympics: Governance. http://www.gamesmonitor.org.uk/files/BriefingPaper3-Governance.pdf [Accessed 21 February 2013]

Gough J., Eisenschitz, A. & McCulloch A. (2006), Spaces of Social Exclusion, Abingdon: Routledge

Hill, D. (2013), ‘London housing crisis: soaring benefit claimant numbers indicate displacement from centre’, Guardian, 21 February 2013. http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/davehillblog/2013/feb/21/housing-benefit-claimants-increase-in-london?CMP=twt_gu [Accessed 21 February 2013]

Host Boroughs Unit (2009), Convergence, Strategic Regeneration Framework: An Olympic Legacy for the Host Boroughs. http://www.hackney.gov.uk/Assets/Documents/strategic-regeneration-framework-report.pdf [Accessed 21 February 2013]

London Boroughs of Barking & Dagenham, Greenwich, Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest, & Mayor of London (2011), Strategic Regeneration Framework: Progress Report 2009–2011. http://www.hackney.gov.uk/Assets/Documents/SRF_Convergence_ annual_report_fin.pdf [Accessed 21 February 2013]

London Boroughs of Barking & Dagenham, Greenwich, Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest, & Mayor of London (2012), Convergence Framework: Annual Report 2011–2012. http://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/Convergence Annual Report 2011-12 FINAL.pdf [Accessed 21 February 2013]

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Links to the 'Convergence' document of 2009. See attachments for the two existing evaluations: 2009-2011, 2011-2012.

www.hackney.gov.uk/Assets/Documents/strategic-regeneration-framework-report.pdf
Strategic Regeneration Framework report (PDF)


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Regeneration and Well-Being in East London: Stories from Carpenters Estate

The report makes unsettling reading. It highlights how residents’ well-being across a number of key dimensions (housing, livelihoods and participation) has been undermined by the protracted and ongoing regeneration process itself. It also underlines how residents often feel that their voices have not been adequately heard – or rather not listened to – by the major redevelopment players – Newham Council and UCL. The report’s findings thus reflect those from many in-depth academic studies of major regeneration schemes in deprived urban areas in which the supposed beneficiaries of such schemes – existing local residents – all too often feel neither empowered by their participation in the regeneration process nor feel that they will necessarily benefit from the outcomes (see inter alia Perron and Skiers 2003; Dinham 2007; Allen 2008; Gosling 2008; Imrie et al. 2009; Wallace 2010). None of this is inevitable however. There are examples where local deprived communities can exert a genuine influence on regeneration processes (McGinn 2004; Porter and Shaw 2009; Dillon and Fanning 2011), even in London, a city whose ever-onwards and upwards ‘property machine’ has a built-in tendency to drive out other, more potentially productive and sustainable land-uses (Hutton 2008).


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Can the London 2012 Olympics ‘inspire a generation’? - An overview of systematic reviews

Can the London 2012 Olympics ‘inspire a generation’ to do more physical or sporting activities?

An overview of systematic reviews

Article focus

Increased levels of physical activity are linked with improved health and may play a key role in the prevention or treatment of most noncommunicable diseases.

The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games aims to leave a long-term legacy, which includes population level increases in physical and sporting activity.

We conducted a systematic review of systematic reviews to establish whether hosting an Olympic games leads to increased participation in such activities.

Key messages

There is little evidence that international elite sporting events such as the Olympics leads to increased participation in physical or sporting activities at the population health level. We found no evidence, in particular, relating to the Paralympic games.

High-quality, evidence-based studies are needed to measure the true impact of the London 2012 games.

Strengths and limitations of this study

This is a systematic review of existing systematic reviews.

We restricted our search to those reviews published in English on previous Olympic and Paralympic games.

See article here


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Statewatch: A “clean city”: the Olympic Games and civil liberties by Chris Jones

A report by Statewatch

In 2005, the UK won the right to host the 2012 Olympic Games. Seven years later, the Games are due to begin, but they are not without controversy. Sponsors of the Games – including McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Cadbury’s, BP and, perhaps most controversially, Dow Chemical [1] – were promised “what is chillingly called a ‘clean city’, handing them ownership of everything within camera distance of the games.” [2] In combination with measures put in place to deal with what have been described as the “four key risks” of terrorism, protest, organised crime and natural disasters, [3] these measures have led to a number of detrimental impacts upon civil liberties, dealt with here under the headings of freedom of expression; freedom of movement; freedom of assembly; and the right to protest. The Games will be hosted in locations across the country, but primarily in London, which is main the focus of this analysis.


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Meta-evaluation of the Impact and Legacy of the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games

This report brings together the findings from phase one of the Developing Meta-Evaluation Methods study, which is being undertaken in conjunction with the Meta-Evaluation of the Impacts and Legacy of the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. The Meta-Evaluation has been commissioned by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). The work on methods is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) . The aim of this element of the study is to review and advance understanding of methods of meta-evaluation.

1.1 Background

In May 2010, Grant Thornton, ECOTEC Research and Consulting (now Ecorys) and associates were commissioned by the UK Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to conduct a comprehensive three-year Meta-Evaluation of the Impacts and Legacy of the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. The study is of the utmost importance in demonstrating the legacy impact of the 2012 Games across all thematic areas and will be the single largest and most comprehensive evaluation exercise commissioned in connection with the event. The study will involve:
“… the synthesis of results, findings and the outputs across a set of existing and planned evaluations with heterogeneous features, into a single overall evaluation. It will also involve reviewing the methodology of the project level evaluations to assess whether they meet the standard principles set out in the '2012 Games Impacts and Legacy Evaluation Framework' ('Legacy Evaluation Framework')

It was thought that the Meta-Evaluation therefore holds significant potential to advance methods more widely, particularly in terms of demonstrating how meta-evaluation can be employed practically in order to:
• Develop a framework for identifying, mining and aggregating data within a disparate body of existing evaluations;
• Inform better policy making and improve value for money; and
• Create a platform for more robust evaluation and research practice (in the field of mega events) in the future.

In response to this opportunity, the ESRC and the ECORYS Research Programme provided additional funding for a parallel research project to both help advance methods of meta-evaluation whilst improving the outcomes of the Meta-Evaluation itself.


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House of Lords Note for Debate on 8 November: Olympic and Paralympic Games Legacy

This Note provides background reading for the debate to be held on Thursday 8 November on:

'the long-term legacy for the UK from the Olympic and Paralympic Games'

The London 2012 Olympic Games took place from 27 July to 12 August 2012, and the Paralympic Games took place from 29 August to 9 September 2012. This Note explores the impact of the Games on the UK economy, regeneration, sport and the broader cultural effects of hosting the Games.


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Public Accounts Committee report Feb 2012

Preparations for the London 2012 Olympic Games Feb 2012 report


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London 2012 Olympics Host City Contract

The Host City Contract for the London 2012 Olympics.

This is the non-negotiable contract document prepared by the IOC to be signed by the successful candidate city at Singapore on July 6th 2005.

This has never been made widely available in the UK and was originally obtained under the Freedom of Information Act from the Government's Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

The accompanying Technical Manuals are here


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Save Leyton Marshes flyer - 5 Mar 2012

PDF flyer for distribution/display
text reads:

"Save Leyton Marsh

Local residents and Marsh users have come together to campaign against the decision to allow the Olympic Delivery Authority to build on the Marshes. Waltham Forest Council has granted planning consent to the
Olympic Development Authority to build a temporary basketball training arena on Leyton Marshes. Work on the site has already begun preventing all public access to this area of common land between now and the end of the year.

We are deeply concerned that this decision to build on Metropolitan Open Land will set a precedent making it much easier for developers to seek and gain consent to build on this important green space in the future.

The Marshes are a vital local community resource, London's Green Lung, that’s why it’s so important that we work together to protect the Marshes for everyone to use and enjoy.

The Olympics should be about improving the facilities we already have not denying people access to parks and open spaces. There are plenty of basketball courts in the East End which could be used to provide training facilities for Olympic athletes, the ODA should use those first before paving over our green space.

The Games have been sold on the back of the legacy it promises to leave and yet we have already lost the entire East Marsh to a coach park and now we stand to lose Leyton Marsh as well. How much more open, green space must we give up for the Games?"

See saveleytonmarsh.wordpress.com


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Press Release 11/03/2012: Large Local Rally Against the Olympic Development

Press Release: Large Local Rally Against the Olympic Development
11 March 2012

Around 200 local people attended a rally organised by the Save Leyton Marsh group on a sunny Saturday afternoon on Leyton Marshes. This is the second protest organised by the group and it was more than double the size of the previous protest just a week before.

Groundwork has begun on the marsh for the construction of 12m high basketball training facilities for the Olympic Games.

Locals gathered for the rally to hear speeches about the mounting opposition to the destruction of the marsh resulting from the huge construction. Around 75% of the marsh is now fenced off, preventing public access to the majority of the land and huge trenches have been dug for the foundations of the building.

People attending the rally were appalled by the impact the building works had already had on the marsh, describing it as ‘ruinous’,‘ a disaster’ and a ‘scarring of the land’. They expressed frustration that Lea Valley Regional Authority instead of acting as a guardian of this protected land, offered it to the ODA who did not consult local residents (including those living directly opposite the development) and are now using public money to dig up green belt land and guard the site, including with two dog units that have been disturbing locals overnight.

Banners reading ‘Save Our Marsh’, ‘No to Olympic Destruction: Save Our Green Space’, ‘2012 Olympic Gated Village’ and ‘Members Only’ were attached to the perimeter fencing. An exhibition of photos of dogs belonging to local dog walkers ‘before’ and ‘after’ the works were also displayed to demonstrate how the changes have negatively impacted the local community and the natural environment.

Protestors chanted ‘Save Our Marsh! Keep it Green!’ in front of the fences. One woman sang a song especially written for the day, expressing both sadness at what was happening and the determination of the protestors not to let the developers ‘take the marsh away’. The protest was lively, peaceful, colourful and attracted the attention of passers-by, many of whom who had no prior knowledge of the ODA’s plans for the land.

Save Leyton Marsh Group, formed entirely of local people, have been active against the proposed development on Metropolitan Open Land ever since the plans became public in late December. They will be taking legal action to try and bring a halt to works and are planning further protests.

Their next protest will highlight the destruction of the land as an amenity for local people and wildlife in the form of an ‘Eat and Greet Picnic’ this Saturday 17th March at 2pm on what remains green open space on Leyton Marsh


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London 2012: Olympic Risk, Risk Management, and Olymponomics

London 2012: Olympic Risk, Risk Management, and Olymponomics
Will Jennings
Published in August 2008 in the John Liner Review, 22(2): 39-45.


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Olympic Sites: A celebration of Olympic values?

"In this special issue of CLRNews we have tried to document the construction involved for different Olympic Games, the social and employment issues and problems raised and the longer-lasting effects."

Published in July 2011 by the European Institute for Construction Labour Research.


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The Spectacular Construction of an Olympic Metropolis - Anne-Marie Broudehoux

The Spectacular Construction of an Olympic Metropolis
Anne-Marie Broudehoux
University of Quebec, Montreal

ABSTRACT: This article presents a critical review of Beijing’s Olympic redevelopment, and of the social, economic, and political impacts of hosting mega events as a means of urban image construction. Through an analysis of Olympic projects, city marketing initiatives, and their impact on the city’s material and cultural landscape, this article postulates that Beijing’s spatial restructuring and image construction program played an important role in exacerbating the profound inequalities that have come to epitomize China’s transition to capitalism within an autocratic political system. Acting as a developmental engine legitimating large-scale urban transformations, the Olympics have helped concentrate economic and political power in the hands of a coalition of government leaders and private investors and allowed their interests to dominate the planning agenda. Beijing’s spectacular Olympic preparations have in many ways acted as a propaganda tool and an instrument of pacification to divert popular attention from the shortcomings of China’s rapid economic transformation, accompanied by rampant land speculation, corruption, and uneven development.


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London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games Impacts and Legacy Evaluation Framework

Department for Culture, Media and Sport
London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games Impacts and Legacy Evaluation Framework Final Report, 2009


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When the Games Come to Town: Host Cities and the Local Impacts of the Olympics - M Smith

A report on the impacts of the Olympic Games and Paralympics on host cities

Dr Mary Smith
London East Research Institute Working Papers
December 2008


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OPLC 'Alternative NW Parklands and Velopark' presentation

OPLC's 'Alternative North-West Parklands and Velopark' presentation of 08/07/2011.

This is a large PDF file (13Mb)
Download the document


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