Following in the footsteps of Barcelona's games, which were used to revive the city's waterfront, London's Olympics organizers are seeking to help kick-start the revitalization of a section of the city that's been left behind by the rapid gentrification of the last decade. And their approach may become a model for future cities seeking to capitalize on the vast public expenditures required to host the games.
According to Faiola, "leading experts say the move to concentrate new Olympics-related construction and its longer-term benefits in historically poor neighborhoods will amount to a test case of just how much the Olympics can be leveraged to effect social change."
"The UK is doing several things different from past host cities," said Joe Montgomery, Europe chief executive of the Urban Land Institute, a nonprofit foundation of developers, architects and urban planners. "They've made these Games relatively compact, focusing on one area in clear need of urban regeneration. But they've also started planning for the legacy of the Games years earlier than other host cities. This is novel, and London's approach could emerge as a model for future host cities."