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The evolving vision of the Olympic legacy: the development of the mixed-use Olympic parks of Sydney and London

Shirai, Hiromasa (2014) The evolving vision of the Olympic legacy: the development of the mixed-use Olympic parks of Sydney and London. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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In the long history of Olympic urbanisation, the creation of an “Olympic Park” where various Olympic facilities are concentrated has been favoured by both host cities and the International Olympic Committee (IOC), due to the regenerative opportunity it presents and its management advantages during the Games. Yet the usages and financial viability of such an approach after the Games were questioned by past Olympic cities, such that turning the post-Olympic Park into a multifunctional “mixed-use” urban precinct rather than a mono-functional sporting quarter was the approach taken in Sydney and London. This thesis explores the evolution of the mixed-use vision, its governance and integration into the wider urban tissues in the pre-bid, post-bid and post-Olympic phases, through the cases of the Sydney and London Olympic Parks, and highlights the evolution from Sydney to London. This long-term analysis shows that the vision of the mixed-use Olympic Park originated as a mixture of the existing urban socio-economic aspiration and the specific spatial demands of the Olympic Games. This evolved in different planning climates, along with changes in the governance of the Olympics and legacy planning. I argue that while in the case of Sydney the governance of the legacy in each phase was confined within the designated planning timeframe and focused on the vision within the Olympic Park, London’s approach was more overlapping and extended beyond the boundary of the Olympic site, which created a considerable difference in terms of the realisation of the initial mixed-use vision and integration with adjacent neighbourhoods. Although the thesis traces the evolution from Sydney to London, it also suggests how these cities shared the limits of their entrepreneurial urban governance through the application of the public–private partnership model to legacy planning and challenges in satisfying both local and regional political aspirations for the post-Olympic Park.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2014 Hiromasa Shirai
Library of Congress subject classification: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Sets: Departments > Sociology
Research centres and groups > Cities Programme
Supervisor: Tavernor, Robert and Thornley, Andrew and Burdett, Ricky

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