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After the Olympics

A new book from Birkbeck geographers takes a close look at the lasting effects of the London 2012 Olympics for local people and the city.

A new book edited by Dr Paul Watt and Professor Phil Cohen from Birkbeck’s Department of Geography explores the legacy of the London 2012 Olympics.

Titled London 2012 and the Post Olympics City: A Hollow Legacy?, the book brings together a body of new research which looks both backwards and forwards to consider how the Olympics sparked regeneration in East London and what this means for local people.

While ‘mega-events’ often lead to regeneration in their host cities, the London 2012 Olympics promised a regeneration project with a difference: instead of top-down planning and the imposition of change on local residents, the mistakes of other large-scale regeneration projects would be learnt from, with regeneration to be led by civic participation and local communities.

This book carefully examines to what extent this legacy has been delivered, and how far it has been a hollow promise. It also considers the 2012 London experience in comparative perspective by including chapters which look at other host cities, specifically Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020. In addition to editing the book, Watt and Cohen also contribute chapters to this study.

Paul Watt explained: “Official evaluations of the Games have often tended to take a narrow economistic perspective and have not adequately explored East Londoners’ views in-depth. This book provides this in-depth perspective, with many of the chapters written by academic specialists on East London.”

The book can be purchased from its publisher, Palgrave Macmillan.  

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