Tuesday, 9 August 2016

London Olympics - what was its legacy?

An interesting paper by Paul Dolan et al
The Host with the Most? The Effects of the Olympic Games on Happiness- was published recently by the LSE It examined whether hosting the Olympic games could make local citizens happier. It found that while there was a positive effect on Londoners during the games. This did not last longer than a year.

But what other impacts did the 2012 Olympics have? Here are some recommended starting points for research.
The government certainly had ambitious aims set out in this Olympic legacy document but were they delivered?
In 2015 a writer on the Guardian blog referred to the 'idle boasts' made of a great legacy.
UK government documents present some positive and negative events. For links to them see the UK government website.

Sports participation.
In 2013 the Uk government published an analysis of impact on motivation  and participation. Data is broken down by region, socio-economic grouping and sport. It found substantial rises in both interest and involvement in sport
however In 2015 the Guardian referred to increasing participation in some Olympic sports such as cycling but others such as swimming showing declining levels.

For latest data/ research see Sport England's annual Active people survey on frequency of participation, types of sport and participation by age, gender

 East London redevelopment.
One aim of the Olympics was to kickstart the regeneration of the area.
In the 2012 residents survey conducted by the Government headline findings from a survey of the 6 Olympic host boroughs (Barking and Dagenham, Greenwich, Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham
Forest) conducted from  February and April 2012. 62% were supportive of hosting the games. 85% intended to follow the games in some way. 48% felt it would lead to a long term regeneration of the area.
Follow discussion on the building projects and controversy in Inside Housing magazine.
Newham Council website has some legacy assessment documents and general housing policies 
However, in 2016 despite house price rises recorded by CBRE
 The Mayor recently attacked the failure to offer affordable housing in the Olympic area.
Concerns and questions were also raised at the Rising with the East Conference recently hosted by the Centre for Cities.
Critics such as Paul Watt have referred to a gentrification of the area with the exclusion of local poorer residents (subscription required )
London Housing Commission also found significant problems with the supply of affordable housing in London.

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