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Olympic venue sites

No. California
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Olympic venue sites

Not strictly travel related--but I have been very curious about the building sites where all the Olyimpic buildings are located. Were these bare ground to begin with, buildings or stadiums already available, or were old buildings demolished to build these? Just wondering where they found the space available for dorms, etc. in the city. I do realize the venues are in different areas.

London
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1. Re: Olympic venue sites

The main Olympic park in Stratford was a mix of waste land, railway yards, some small scale industrial units and some housing.

All the other Olympic venues in London are existing facilities - except Greenwich which will return to park after the games.

Dunfermline, United...
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2. Re: Olympic venue sites

The site that has seen the most profound change is where the Olympic Stadium is in Stratford. Previously, it was a goods marshalling yard and heavy industrial. It was a pretty run-dow and dingy area and the soil had to be removed as it was so contaminated with discarded chemicals etc.

At the northern end of the Olympic Park is where Hackney speedway and greyhound racing used to go on and an amateur football club, Eton Manor FC used to play. My dad played for them in the 1930's.

The other sites like Hampton Court, Greenwich, Wembley and Horseguards Parade haven't been changed at all.

London
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for London
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3. Re: Olympic venue sites

One of the big drivers of London's Olympic bid was a desire to regenerate the Lower Lea Valley in East London.

Traditionally noxious and polluting industries were situated to the east of London, because the prevailing winds are from the west. Because of the river Lea (used for transport), the development of the London docks from the 1700s onwards and the arrival of the railways in the 1840s there was a concentration of these industries in the Stratford and Hackney Wick areas. Over the years these industries have gone into decline, and the area had become very run-down.

The Olympics has given London the once-in-a-lifetime to renew this area. The remaining businesses have been relocated, and apart from the sports facilities a new urban park is being created along the waterways, which have themselves been cleaned up. The Olympic Village, which was built to house the athletes, will be added to London's housing stock, along with more housing, schools and medical centres which will be built in the area. And of course, the area is now home to the huge Westfield Shopping Centre, the building of which is seen as a sign of confidence that the area is worth investing in.

Chicago, Illinois
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4. Re: Olympic venue sites

The site was home to many business that had been there for decades. The compensation offered to these firms were not sufficient to enable them to relocate and in many cases planning laws prevented them from finding alternative sites. As expected no records exist as to how many of these long established companies were forced to close and how many lost their jobs.

The site was also home to many allotments (small plots of land where home owners grow fruit and vegetables for their own use). Despite the games claiming "green credentials", these allotments were dug up even though many had been tended by generations of the same family. No compensation was paid to these gardeners and there are no plans to set aside space when the Games finish.

London, United...
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5. Re: Olympic venue sites

I'm not sure that it can be said that Greenwich hasn't changed - the park doesn't normally have the paraphenalia of equestrian sports and grandstands within it. Similarly with Horse Guards Parade. Also, the shooting venue at Woolwich will be dismantled - it's not entirely at the Royal Artillery barracks, btw, as the venue straddles a road and partially occupies Woolwich Common.

No. California
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6. Re: Olympic venue sites

Thanks for all the interesting information! Amos--- just wondering where your info. came from. Not trying to start an argument here, just interested in the differing viewpoints on the regeneration of an area.

London
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7. Re: Olympic venue sites

As with all major projects there are winners and losers - and I doubt a travel forum is the place for that debate.

We will only be able to really assess the legacy of the games in 10 or 20 years but if you look at the arguments that were leveled at the building of the Millenium Dome, and how the O2 arena (as it has become) is now seen there is some recent precedent.

Chicago, Illinois
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8. Re: Olympic venue sites

I know that part of east London from when I was in my 20's. I used to travel through there on the train for 10 years. I also read articles about the things that were being lost as well as those pushing the official line which only mentioned the gains.

london
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9. Re: Olympic venue sites

Bluesue, the information Amos gave you is in the public domain, there has been reports of the "losers" in the Stratford development for the last few years ... the areas Amos talks about are scattered in amongst other derelict, or semi-derelict, areas ... the developments are undoubtedly impressive but only time will tell whether it's all been really worth it

No. California
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10. Re: Olympic venue sites

Thanks, everyone.