Rendering of planned development between the Velodrome and Olympic Stadium
Now that the 2012 Olympic Games are over and the Spice Girls have hip-swiveled across the world’s screens once more, hard decisions will have to be made regarding how the Olympic Park venues will be used. Will they languish like the facilities built for the 2004 Games in Athens, or will they spur an urban renaissance? Fortunately, London officials have been planning for the ‘Olympic Legacy’ since the city was awarded the Games way back in 2005. In fact, sometimes it seems like the Games were really just an excuse for redeveloping East London. .
According to a recent article in The Guardian, a major part of the redevelopment strategy is the dismantling of many Olympic venues, including the basketball, water polo, and beach volleyball arenas. Most of the seats of Zaha Hadid’s Aquatic Center will be taken down, and as we wrote previously, the fabric sheathing of the Olympic Stadium is to be removed. This will open up space for new construction and will prevent these specialized spaces from sitting empty. Many other venues, such as the Copper Box and the remaining portions of the Olympic Stadium and Aquatic Center, will remain, though their focus will shift toward community sporting events.
As for new construction, the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) plans to build 8,000 new residential units in the coming years, adding to the 2,800 units already built for the Olympic Village. These will be a mix of apartment buildings and row houses, interwoven among the canals and marshlands of the Olympic Park. The LLDC also wishes to add 8,000 jobs to the area in order to create a suburb capable of being independent from Central London. Of course, massive transit infrastructure will need to be constructed to make the new town viable, but this is in the works, as well.
Image: David Poultney/Getty Images
The redeveloped Carpenter's Lock neighborhood
Much of the Olympic Park will remain open green space
Waterfront areas will remain open to public access
Rendering of the redeveloped Pudding Mill Lane neighborhood
The plaza will be renamed Queen Elizabeth Park
All images by London Legacy Development Corporation via The Guardian, except where noted