Post-Olympics: London Repurposing Sports Venues


Legacy has become a crucial part of cities’ bids for the Olympic Games as the International Olympic Committee hope to demonstrate post-Games value for money. This focus is in an attempt to justify the expenditure that the competition represents.

Infrastructure is central to the legacy plan of Olympic cities, with buildings such as stadiums, arenas, dining halls and velodromes built especially for the occasion.

Consequently, some cities – like London, which regenerated a deprived part of the city thanks to the Games, – have been exemplary in the implementation of their legacy plan.

Stadiums are the most difficult of sports infrastructures to convert due to their radial formats and columns. Also, Olympic villages are usually reconverted into residential areas, like the Newington area in Sydney, Australia, and Chaoyang district in Beijing, China.

The reuse of such buildings requires the use of fewer resources, and therefore a smaller environmental impact, as well as less investment.

Stadiums are now built in the centre of Olympic cities rather than in huge empty lots out of towns, and venues need to integrate into the city’s existing infrastructure.

According to Rob Turner, an urban infrastructure expert at advisory firm Grant Thornton, which was commissioned to assess the legacy of the 2012 London Olympics, by locating venues in the heart of a big city, there is a benefit of creating spaces that can be easily reused by businesses and others.

It will also benefit existing transport infrastructure, which makes for easy access and boosts popularity with businesses.


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