Sunday, August 1, 2010

East End Regeneration in Question as Economy Worsens

Regenerating London's East End has been a major element of the city's 2012 Olympic plans. But with tight economic times, some worry that the $14.3 billion Summer Olympics will distract too much money away from the troubled neighborhood.

"The most enduring legacy," Britain promised in the bid, would be "the regeneration of an entire community for the direct benefit of everyone who lives there."

Yet while building progresses on schedule in the future Olympic Park—Europe's biggest construction site and one of the biggest regeneration projects in British history—locals fear the broad urban renewal so central to the bid could become a lesser priority. Since winning the right to stage the Games five years ago, London has gone through a deep recession and a collapse in the real-estate market that hasn't spared the Olympics. Private funding that was supposed to help pay for the athletes' village, for instance, couldn't be found, saddling the public purse with the entire construction cost.

East London Hopes for an Olympic Revival
The Wall Street Journal
July 27, 2010