Olympic Regeneration?

With an eye to the future, the planners of London's Olympics have built the Olympics venues in a depressed part of town. They're hoping their work will turn the area around.
July 31, 2011, 5am PDT | Nate Berg
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"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.

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Published on Friday, July 29, 2011 in The New York Times
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