Olympic Legacy: 5 Years on from London 2012 | The B1M

Olympic Legacy: 5 Years on from London 2012 | The B1M


One of the central themes of London’s winning bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games was a legacy plan that promised to rejuvenate a run-down area of east London and “inspire a generation” Aware of the failures of some previous Olympics – where stadiums have become white elephants and where Olympic parks have become deserted wastelands – London promised to create a vibrant new community. Although the 2012 Games were undoubtedly a sporting success, this is an Olympics that should be judged on its legacy. Five years on from the Games we investigate the progress that has been made in turning the site of this one-off sporting event into one of London’s newest communities. Mindful of the aftermath of the 2004 Athens Games and the huge cost of hosting a summer Olympics, great emphasis was placed on how London’s site would be integrated into the city after the event. Legacy plans were put in place for the majority of venues – many of which were demountable – and a clear plan to build housing and
create jobs was devised. Here we take a tour around the Olympic Park site to see how well these plans have been put into action. The main site of the games has been transformed into a public space that is larger than the country of Monaco. Now re-named the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park this 2.5 square kilometre stretch of parkland re-opened a year after the Games completed. It is now well-used by local people and hosts numerous events. In its first year the park welcomed 3.9 million visitors and to date over 15.2 million people have come to the new space. Immediately following the games, the park’s two temporary venues were removed. The Water Polo Arena was disassembled with its parts returned back to the supply chain, while the Basketball Arena was dismantled before its seats were incorporated into the new Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre. Five years on from the games, all eight permanent venues within the Olympic Park have a secure legacy, are open and operational. Whilst the Olympic Stadium was the centerpiece of the Games, its legacy plan didn’t materialise after 2012. Instead of becoming a dedicated athletics venue, the stadium has controversially become the home of Premier League team West Ham United, with the club paying £2 million a year for the use of the building. Renovation works to make the stadium suitable for football cost £323 million and reduced its capacity from 80 to 54,000. The original roof and light paddles were inverted and a new permanent roof that covers every seat in the venue was installed. An innovative retractable seating system was also installed, allowing the stadium to continue to host athletic events while bringing fans closer to the pitch when configured for football. In total 5,000 people worked 2 million hours to complete a transformation that has secured the long-term viability of the stadium while retaining it as the national competition venue for UK Athletics. The venue has hosted a wide variety sporting events since the 2012 games; including five Rugby World Cup matches, numerous athletics events and rugby league internationals. Hosting the Handball and Modern Pentathlon Fencing events during the Games, the Copper Box Arena was designed to be a flexible venue from the outset. As such, the building needed very little work to convert it into its legacy mode and it became the first venue to open on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, exactly one year after the Games. The Copper Box is London’s third largest
arena and its 7,500 retractable seats make it ideal for a wide range of international
and national sporting events, tournaments, shows, exhibitions, concerts and conferences. It is also open to the public as a state-of-the-art gym; is home to the London Lions basketball team; and has had more than 1 million visitors since it re-opened. The flexibility of its design makes the Copper Box an exemplar of how to plan for a post Games life. One of the most recognisable venues of the 2012 Games, the Aquatics Centre designed by Zaha Hadid, has been transformed into a public pool. The much-criticized “wings”, which held
temporary seating during the Olympics, have been removed to reduce the venue’s capacity from 17,500 to a much more manageable 2,500. Since re-opening in March 2014, over 2.5 million people have visited what must be one of the world’s most architecturally impressive
public pools. Having witnessed several Team GB gold medal victories during the Games, the velodrome re-opened as the centre piece of the Lee Valley VeloPark in April 2014. The venue continues to host major international cycling events, while the VeloPark is a public centre for road racing, BMX and mountain biking. Beyond the venues, a key part of the London Olympic legacy plan was the creation of a new residential district. The first wave of new homes has already been delivered with the conversion of the former Athletes’ Village into East Village. Home to 10,500 athletes during the Games, the village has now been converted into 2,818 homes, 1,439 of which are affordable. The wider park is set to see five new neighbourhoods established and planning permission has already been granted for 6,800 homes. The first of these neighbourhoods, in the
north-east of the Park, is called Chobham Manor. Once complete there will be 828 new homes here, with 75 percent designed for families and around a third designated as affordable. The first residents began moving into this
neighbourhood in 2015. A new school called the Chobham Academy has opened in a building that was used as both a gym and a security hub during the Games. Chobham Manor will be followed by the development of 870 homes at East Wick and 650 homes at Sweetwater. The development of these sites has been brought forward by six years, with construction set to start in 2017 and the first residents expected to move-in in 2023. The construction of 1,300 homes at Pudding Mill to the south of the site and 780 at Stratford Waterfront alongside the Aquatic Centre are also set to begin in the next decade. The Legacy Plan also called for a business community to be established in the park and work to date has focused on the former Media Centre. Using the connectivity and IT infrastructure constructed for the games, the building has been converted into a digital hub arranged around one of London’s largest data centres. It’s now an attractive base for big-name
tenants such as BT Sport and smaller tech start-ups. Careful planning and a dedicated focus on legacy from the outset has ensured that the London Olympic site has not met the same fate as some previous Olympics. The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park has already become a centre for sports and recreation with the main venues of the Stadium, Aquatics Centre, Velodrone and Copper Box firmly established as publicly accessible spaces that attract
millions of visitors each year. Whether the site achieves its aim of becoming a vibrant new district for London will depend on the future development and its new housing neighbourhoods. Although many homes have been planned, increasing prices and declining affordable targets have led some to say that locals are being priced out of these new communities. New districts of course take decades to develop, but at this five year milestone passes, it certainly seems like things are on the right track. If you enjoyed this video and would like to get more from the definitive video channel for construction, subscribe to The B1M.

100 Replies to “Olympic Legacy: 5 Years on from London 2012 | The B1M”

  1. I remeber coming here last year as part of some practise coursework for my first year of geography a-level; and i must say that for the most part it is an excellent addition to London lets just hope we can see even more development and growth reach current residents of old Stratford

  2. Positive story, but comes across as a full on corporate marketing presentation on the part of the "Olympic Delivery Authority." Was this a paid presentation, I would ask. B1M is looking less and less independent.

  3. Because they did as promised that is somehow news?
    Worth saying "oh look at us"?

    Ya…look at you. 😶

    Liberal Shit hole….
    WITH A PARK!!! 🥳

  4. It's amazing what you can do when you both plan ahead and stay flexible to new developments. This is really the best case scenario. Rio and Athens need both visionaries and detail people.

  5. (1) Maintain good roads, parking and public transportation.
    (2) Build housing and a lot of nice parks around it.
    (3) You need some professional team to take over the big buildings… these are expensive to maintain. Or just tear them down. (London has exclusive advantage here.)

  6. I work opposite the Olympic park everyday and the place looks beautiful. And sporting events happen there very often. Pretty impressive for London to have a plan and follow through with it.

  7. Something not right about the stadium, it has cost too much as set against the original quote. Tax payers funding used to bail out some failures. I am not sure what amount of money was quoted for the original winning quote. Also, how much more tax payer money has been used to ensure things happen. Also, it's good to see affordable housing high on the agenda. But what is affordable for me may be affordable for you. Either give them out as cheap council houses or rent through housing association schemes. I am not totally convinced the follow up from these Olympics has been a success for all residents of the UK. They will openly benefit some Londoners more than others. Democracy is it fair?

  8. They don't want the locals living there because it was a shit place before construction and will become a shit place if they let them come in again

  9. 2012 was the only time I've ever felt pride in the UK, shame that pride has been completely destroyed since #YesCymru

  10. As a West Ham fan, we've moved into the Olympic Stadium, now the London Stadium, and it's great new ground putting the club at the cutting edge for football's stadiums. It had its hitches early on, but it's now got past those and is only getting better. I couldn't be happier!

  11. It’s great what they’ve done with most of the park. But the bidding process that West Ham won to use the Olympic Stadium reeks of corruption. £2m a year is ridiculous considering the amount of money a Premier league club pulls in and the fact the taxpayer had to foot the entire bill for the £323m renovation.

  12. Nice. I lived across the river from o2 when I loved to London. We now live in Paris. If we're still here when 2024 rolls around, we have to decide whether to (try) to attend any of the events or rent our house out and take a vacation outside France.

  13. I was involved in 2012 , it's heartening to know that the future of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is secured for Housing, for Sport and for Tourism.

  14. Big lies all around. The Main stadium cost over £320 million to be converted into a football stadium for Westham to use yet Westham is paying just £2 million a year to rent it. If you add the £320 million spent for the conversion to the original cost of the stadium, it would take over 150 years for Westham to pay the money. Big waste of tax payers money yet because they're British they're saying things nicely to look like a kind of role model to other Olympic hosts. The houses built from the Olympic village are not even affordable to the average British. Only millionaires can afford them. From time in memorial, the British have always been good liars. Thoughts of Blair and the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq comes to mind in recent memory.🤗🙂😊

  15. This makes me proud to be British, I use the velodrome and pool regularly. Amazing facilities and great park in general.

  16. As an East London resident I was disappointed by this video which is not a balanced view of The Legacy created by the Olympics just Google affordable housing to see that the housing on the site is not affordable also the taxpayer spent over £300 million converting a stadium to give it to a football Club at a rent of £2 million a year there will be some great Legacy arising from the Olympics but pretending that everything is perfect is unfair to the people of East London especially as overall the venues are all subsidised by the council tax payers in London. Great Olympics which will hopefully leave a lasting Legacy but a poor and misleading video

  17. Great video, but it needs a different narrator (one without a speech impediment). I am a native speaker, but his slurred words and occasionally odd pronunciation, made it difficult to understand what was being said at various points.

  18. i appreciate how it now hosts football but as a Sheffield United fan its a fucking failure you gave it to West Ham

  19. The difference with other cities is that London was already in a dynamic of reclaiming old industrial areas. We can see with the regeneration of King's cross and the expansions of North Greenwich, Canary Wharf, etc…
    Without the Olympics these sites would probably have been reclaimed anyway, even though probably not with a grand plan like this, which makes it more thought through and appealing to the larger public.
    I have the feeling other cities hosting the games before and after did not have this in mind and literally spent millions moving things around for the events with no foreseeable plan.
    I believe Tokyo, Paris and LA will have similar plans as they are cities with plans for regeneration, expansion and public interest regardless of the games.
    Paris, for example, will also transform their Olympic village in housing afterwards and build venues for future use, they will actually use their existing stadiums, so won't build any, they will also push for their 3 new metro lines to be at least partly ready for then.
    even though, just as London, they were already reclaiming old industrial sites for city expansion.

  20. You want a successful post Olympic story? Check out lake placid. No other Olympic site is as successful post Olympics than LP.

  21. I live in London and understand why lots of housing was promised as part of the Legacy plan, but I feel that filling in all (an exaggeration I accept) of the green space created in an area of London that is so lacking it seems counterintuitive, just my thoughts

  22. About time someone was thinking of the future….not just the games…..the other countrys should be looking into this.

  23. 3:00 a soccer team is paying $2 million a year to rent the building. renovations to make the building suitable for soccer cost $322 million. so in 161 years the building will pay for itself.

  24. I like that WHU took use of the stadium. It was gonna be a shame to see it almost completely demolished and replaced with a 25,000 seater that would have been used maybe a 6 times a year.

  25. The aftermath of Rio compared to this shows that unless the IOC decides to lighten up a bit on their more costly venue construction requirements, the Summer Olympics (which are significantly more expensive than the Winter Olympics) really should only be hosted in cities that can actually afford to not only host them but make use of the permanent venues afterward.

  26. As much as this is presented in a glowing fashion, if you really pay attention to what is seen and said, it is all a bit short on the realization of the promises. Over all, it 'feels' like another Olympic failure. Being in the London metro it will grow – eventually. But the key venues are cut back so far as to be unrecognizable or are simply not used and dismantled. I would not call that a success. As of 2019, this does not look like anything more than good PR making something look better than it really is.

  27. Fab video, love what’s happened to the park afterwards, on a non Olympic topic, does anyone know what the backing track at the end of the video is?

  28. This is all nonsense. The Olympic stadium was supposed to be an athletics facility. Instead it was turned over to a football club at a massive loss to the public purse. It includes an incredibly expensive seating arrangement which was installed to create a pretend athletics legacy of an elite athletics event every summer. The real reason for this pretend legacy was to secure the support of the then head of the IAAF Lamine Diack, now being investigated for corruption, who had insisted on this ‘legacy’, for the bid by Seb Coe to become the next head of the IAAF.

    The Aquatic Centre, like all the other facilites, was massively over budget. It was so badly designed in terms of legacy that a cafe had to be crammed into a corner and it was impossible to include any child friendly features like slides. The original design was way too large for this site and it had to be redesigned. It has a wooden roof making it a maintenance nightmare.

    Few of the sports facilities have local applications. There is a local swimming pool half a mile away. A number of facilities, like the Basketball arena, were demolished or removed to prevent the site being littered with unused facilities. They still had to be paid for.

    The school and clinic were not built for the Olympics, they were part of the Stratford City planning application along with the housing which was taken over for the Athletes Village. In fact, because the Olympics took over the housing less housing was built that was originally planned, 2818 units, down from 3500. In addition, it cost the public purse £275 million.

    The massive development next to the Olympic Park, which includes the offices being built in the International Quarter, the Westfield shopping mall, East Village, are nothing to do with the Olympics. They are part of the Stratford City development, a long term project which dated back to the end of the 1990s but frequently appropriated by London 2012.

    The land was portrayed as being a wasteland. However, if you now look on the London Legacy Development Corporation website, Sweetwater page, you will see they describe it as a ‘hive of activity and industrial innovation’. The compulsory purchase of this land, at knock down prices, meant the loss of around 6000 jobs for local people and the ripping off of those who owned the land. So far less than half that number have been created. The original goal was to create around 11,000 jobs.

    The London Olympics also demolished two housing estates, homes to around 1000 people, plus two traveller sites and other important facilities like the Eastway Cycle Circuit and park, a beautiful wild open space. The Eastway track was much superior to its Olympic replacement.

    London 2012 claimed it would create the largest new urban park in Europe for 150 years. This referred to the green space in the park, not the park as a whole. This was untrue. There is a larger park in West London at Greenford and Northolt which is about twenty years old. Whereas there were genuinely wild spaces in the park before the Olympics all of those spaces were destroyed.

    The original promise for so-called affordable housing in the park was 50%. As things stand the park is likely to achieve 31%. Of course this is not genuinely affordable housing. Only 30& of the so-called affordable housing wil be genuinely affordable.

    The reality is the land inside the park would have been developed whether or not the Olympics came to London. This was demonstrated by a company called Rooff which challenged its compensation on the grounds that it would have built housing on its land if it had been left alone. It won the case after fighting for several years. Other companies were not so resilient but arguments have been continuing a decade after the land was compulsorily purchased.

    The park includes a nuclear storage facility with around 7,000 tonnes of radioactively contaminated soil, including around 60 tonnes of non-exempt material which should have been taken to Drigg in Cumbria. The store was built without the knowledge of the planning authority. Much of the site is covered with a sheet of material a few centimetres below the surface warning developers they will have to remediate the soil below as the so-called remediation was a very superficial job.

    The cost of the Olympics is unknown. Depending on what is included in the budget Sky Sports reckoned it was anywhere between around £11 billion to £23 billion. The costs continue to grow.

  29. London did a fantastic job hosting! Let's hope that the money invested into the Olympic Park could one day, once again, host the Olympics. A legacy which stands the test of time!

  30. I read for athens 2004 that the construction and rehabilitions in seven years would be in decades at a normal rythm

  31. The real success is that we got past all of the conspiracy theories that came with this Olympics.
    Anyone else recalls?

    Terrorists, bombs, end of the world as we knew it; all hallmarked by these Olympics.

  32. A smart plan that resulted in success! When the games are given to a third world nation, after all the events are done it goes back to a complete shithole!!!

  33. Anyone else come here after youtube being recommended a similar video to this but about the failure of Rios post Olympic Legacy?

  34. This video makes me so happy. I’m so glad they had such a plan and i hope japan doesn’t make a huge mistake next year

  35. That's y i read an article before that the 2012 olympics in london was the most profitable one…..i know the reasons now

  36. Why do I feel like I'm watching a guided meditation video. The rhythm, the use of plosive consonants and words like 'mindful' and 'transformative'. Mildy hypnotic.

  37. Tax payers money…tenants moved out..then private enterprise sell apartments for rip off amounts. London is obscene..there is so much money and investment…while the rest of the country eats cake.

  38. Wow! I thought it had been abandoned after the games were finished . But no unlike other olympic venues is flourished after its Olympic use. I'm quite proud of british engineering its beautiful, totally functional and Built to last!
    Just like Isambard Kingdom Brunel who was played by Kenneth Branagh in the Opening ceremony in the industrial revolution section

    (I can't believe people thought that was Abraham Lincoln sigh!)

  39. Many of the sites built never get used.
    Luckly here in america we already habe the abilty to handle the games or other wise id be against hosting if we were like so many that build for temporary bragging rights that never has any use after the crowds leave.

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