"The 250-hectare, or 618-acre, Olympic Park around Stratford, northeast of the City, London's financial center, is transforming.
Settlement here predates Roman times. Later, it became an industrial zone, but starting in the 19th century, deprivation set in. More recently, the site had become contaminated as tar, gasoline, lead and chemicals like arsenic and vinyl chloride seeped into the ground. The landscape was blighted by factories, refrigerator mountains and scrap merchants, all owned by hundreds of landlords, preventing renewal.
One million cubic meters of contaminated soil have been cleaned, organizers say, a large parkland has been created around the Lea River, waterways dredged and three networks of high-speed cable laid."
Some critics argue that the plans won't live up to their ambitious goals.