Olympics $14B Turns Junkyard Into Meadow, Studios

By James S. Russell - 2012-07-19T14:26:03Z

Photograph by Anthony Charlton/London 2012 via Bloomberg

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Avoiding Empty Venues

London hasn't built a showy assortment of stadiums and arenas. It has created "a piece of city," on the 600-acre (80 hectare) main games site, according to Richard Burdett, a former adviser to the Olympic Delivery Authority who directs the London School of Economics' Cities program.

Organizers targeted London's games investment to unleash a wave of growth in largely poor, isolated east London neighborhoods. The London Legacy Development Corporation takes charge when the games end.

For all the cash, success is hardly assured.

Left, London hopes to avoid the empty venues and underused sites of past Olympic games. The Olympic Stadium, shown left, can shrink for much smaller crowds drawn to post-Olympic events. It will be surrounded by a new park promenade and commercial development.