A legacy for the London Olympics?
Thursday, 2 December, 2010
Cass recently hosted the first in a three-part lecture series, organised by the Olympic Park Legacy Company, discussing the legacy of the London 2012 Games, the development of East London and the future Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
An audience of academics, alumni, students and representatives of stakeholder groups involved with the Olympic project heard from a panel of experts, including Cass Professor Stefan Szymanski who took as their subject 'How can future development plans for the Olympic Park help to transform the heart of East London?'The Barcelona Olympics in 1992 are often citied as an example of successful urban regeneration connected with a major sporting event. However, Professor Szymanski emphasised that the size of the area that the games cover in London is nearly five times larger than urban Barcelona and with a significantly more diverse population.
Professor Szymanski citied research by another Cass academic, Giorgios Kavetsos, who conducted a study into the impact the awarding of the Olympic Games has on house prices around the Olympic site. Dr Kavestos found that houses within a six mile radius of the stadium saw a 5% increase in value as a direct result of the announcement.
The study also found that the 'Olympic announcement effect' moved beyond the five host boroughs into neighbouring areas such as Lewisham, Haringey and Islington. The increase in price of housing stock caused by the investment associated with the Olympic Games can therefore be calculated at £1.4bn.
Professor Szymanski said: "If we equate £1.4bn into annual net income we see a result of £70million for the local area, which is a relatively modest figure. We should also expect the impact to relatively local as the amenities are focussed around quite a small area."
Other speakers at the event included Duncan Innes, Executive Director of Real Estate, Olympic Park Legacy Company; John Lock, Director, 2012 Office for Olympic and Paralympic Development, University of East London and Saskia Nelson, Director Legacy 2020, East London Business Alliance.