What is event led regeneration? Are we confusing terminology or will London 2012 be the first Games to truly benefit the local existing population?
The term regeneration means keeping the locality available for the same social classes and improving the infrastructure for their benefit, however examination of previous games including Barcelona 1992 and Sydney 2000 has shown evidence of renaissance, referring to ‘upgrading’ the social structure of the area. The property prices in both cities rose as a result of the hosting of the games for both home owners and renters thus changing the social structure of the areas in questions. This term, renaissance, was used by Mace et al, (2007) in their paper about the urban changes to east Manchester. \ud \ud A further term called social rejuvenation is more appropriate because it implies an intervention in the continuing decline of as area without specifying for whom the improvements are intended thus allowing the market forces to determine the social makeup, and therefore avoiding accusations of letting the locals down through unfulfilled promises. \ud \ud This paper examines in detail both Sydney 2000 and Barcelona 1996 Olympic Games organisers’ strategies in developing their cities in order to host their respective games and in doing so the effects these plans had on the demographic structure of the local populations. Lessons learned are then made into recommendations for London 2012 where already communities are being displaced and the social structure is in danger of changing, with the promised ‘regeneration’ of East London (ODA, 2005) therefore never materialising.
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