The Challenge of Creating a City from the Olympics

The success of the 2012 Olympics in London likely won't be evident until after the event, which is seeking to repurpose a down-and-out part of town into a new neighborhood.

The London Evening Standard's Kieran Long talks with Eleanor Fawcett, head of design for the Olympic Park Legacy Company, which is leading the development process.

"'We are charged with making a new bit of city, like a great estate, and you make decisions based on a 50-year horizon rather than a five-year one,' she says. Throughout our conversation she flits between amusement at some of the management speak that infects organisations such as the OPLC, and a patient earnestness about the effects of good urban design. In referring to the great estate, she makes an analogy between the task of developing the Olympic Park with the large-scale development of London that happened at the end of the 18th and start of the 19th centuries, when the Grosvenor, Portman and Bedford Estates (among others) were filled with some of London's most beautiful housing. That legacy endures today as some of the best (and most expensive) parts of London to live in. This might seem like a retrograde vision but Fawcett, who is funny and sharp with an ironic sense of humour, is part of a new generation of architects interested not in futuristic shapes and utopian dreams but in the lessons of how our city has developed."

Full Story: Queen of the East: Olympics head of design shares her vision

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month
Red necktie with map of Boston

Tie one on to celebrate your city

Choose from over 20 styles of neckties imprinted with detailed city or transit maps.
$44.95
Book cover of Unsprawl

Unsprawl: Remixing Spaces as Places

Explore visionary, controversial and ultimately successful strategies for building people-centered places.
Starting at $12.95