The London Olympics and Urban Development: The Mega-Event City, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

The London Olympics and Urban Development

The Mega-Event City, 1st Edition

Edited by Gavin Poynter, Valerie Viehoff, Yang Li


362 pages | 14 B/W Illus.

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As London sought to use the Olympics to achieve an ambitious programme of urban renewal in the relatively socially deprived East London it attracted global attention and sparked debate. This book provides an in-depth study of the transformation of East London as a result of the 2012 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games. Government and event organisers use legacies of urban renewal to justify hosting the world’s leading sports mega-event, this book examines and evaluates those legacies.

The London Olympics and Urban Development: the mega-event city is composed of new research, conducted by academics and policy makers. It combines case study analysis with conceptual insight into the role of a sports mega-events in transforming the city. It critically assesses the narrative of legacy as a framework for legitimizing urban changes and examines the use of this framework as a means of evaluating the outcomes achieved.

This book is about that process of renewal, with a focus on the period following the 2012 Games and the diverse social, political and cultural implications of London’s use of the narrative of legacy.

Table of Contents

I. London: Moving East 1. Remaking the East – from Canary Wharf to the Olympic Park Eric Sorensen 2. East or West? The Story of the London 2012 Bid Richard Sumray II. Evaluating London’s Olympic Legacy 3. Measuring and Assessing the impacts of London 2012 Yang Li 4. The Olympic Compact: Legacies of Gift, Debt and Unequal Exchange Phil Cohen 5. Governance: Lessons from London 2012 John Lock 6. Re-hashing and New Knowledge about the Games: a bibliometric analysis and assessment of Routledge’s Special Olympic Journals issues Mike Collins and Vassil Girginov III. Creating Spaces and Re-constructing Places 7. The Olympic Games and Urban Development Impacts Judith Grant Long 8. Barriers and Borders: London’s legacy development ambitions and outcomes Ralph Ward 9. The Olympic Host Boroughs: local authority responses to the London 2012 Games Nadia Grubnic 10. Olympic Brandscapes: London 2012 and the seeping commercialisation of public space Guy Osborn and Andrew Smith IV. Social and Economic Transformation in East London 11. Olympics Inspired Inward Investment – transforming East London? Gavin Poynter 12. The 2012 Olympics and Small Local Business: A five-year longitudinal study of south-east London Peter Vlachos 13. What do we mean by Paralympic Legacy? Shane Kerr and P. David Howe 14. Localism and a Sustainable Olympic Legacy Andrew Hoolachan 15. Edgelands and London 2012: the case of the Lower Lea Valley Oliver Pohlisch 16. Paralympic Branding Iain MacRury V. Cultural Legacies of London 2012 17. Placing Culture at the Heart of the Games: achievements and challenges within the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad Beatriz Garcia 18. A ‘Big’ Legacy? Evaluating volunteers’ experiences of London 2012 and beyond Linda Wilks 19. London 2012 and Sport for Its Own Sake Andrew Calcutt 20. Looking Back at London 2012: Recruitment, Selection and Training of Games Makers Olesya Nedvetskaya, Rod Purcell, Annette Hastings 21. The Olympic Regeneration of East London in the Official Discourse: Preconditions for the Construal of Public Space Antonio Desiderio 22. Portraying Britain’s Past: English National Newspaper Coverage of the 2012 London Olympic Ceremonies Jack Black VI. The Mega-Event City 23. A London Model? Valerie Viehoff

About the Editors

Gavin Poynter is Professor Emeritus at the School of Social Sciences, University of East London and Chair, London East Research Institute, UK.

Valerie Viehoff is a Research Fellow at the Geography Department, University of Bonn, Germany.

Yang Li is Senior Research Follow, Centre for Geo-Information Studies, University of East London, UK.

About the Series

Regions and Cities

In today’s globalised, knowledge-driven and networked world, regions and cities have assumed heightened significance as the interconnected nodes of economic, social and cultural production, and as sites of new modes of economic governance and policy experimentation. This book series brings together incisive and critically engaged international and interdisciplinary research on this resurgence of regions and cities, and should be of interest to geographers, economists, sociologists, political scientists and cultural scholars, as well as to policy-makers involved in regional and urban development.

If you would like to discuss a potential new book for the series, please contact:

Joan Fitzgerald – – Series Editor-in-Chief, or

Natalie Tomlinson – – Routledge Commissioning Editor

For more information on the Regional Studies Association, visit


Did you know that as a Regional Studies Association member you’re entitled to a 30% discount on all Routledge books? To order, simply email Luke McNicholas (, or phone on +44 (0) 20 701 77545 and declare your RSA membership.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Business Development
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economics / General
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Sustainable Development