EMBARGOED UNTIL 00:01 Wednesday 18 April 2012
London think-tank scores progress on the Olympics 7 out of 10
With 100 days to go to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Centre for London – the new think tank for the capital – gives the organisers 7 out of 10 for progress so far, but urges politicians not to take their eye off the ball once the Games are over.
The think tank judged the Games across ten different categories, considering major successes against areas where LOCOG have encountered problems.
Scoring most highly are the assembly and clearance of the site and building of the stadia. In both engineering and architectural terms the think tank judges delivery as being impressive. Against expectations it has been completed on time and on budget, dispelling national self-doubt over big previous high profile failures at Wembley, Pickett’s Lock and the Millennium Dome.
The new transport infrastructure also scores highly in the think tank’s assessment. The significant improvements to Stratford station, the new fleet of DLR trains, the Woolwich extension and improvements to the North London Line are assessed as big wins for East London, which Centre for London argues was previously held back by a lack of decent transport.
Centre for London judge the failure to sell off the main stadium and the difficulties over ticketing to be most problematic aspects of the project so far. According to the think tank’s assessment the ticketing process has soured the enthusiasm of too many and the excessive secrecy of LOCOG on tickets sales has damaged public perception.
According to Centre for London, the real prize of the Olympic project is the long-term transformation of the area in and around the park, and the creation of sustainable new communities where people want to live.
Rob Whitehead, Deputy Director of Centre for London said:
“The transformation of a large swathe of very low-value inner London industrial land into a marketable condition is the major gain of the Games so far.
“The legacy of the main stadium has been hampered by an insistence on maintaining the running track. The chance of the main stadium being anything other than a white elephant is fast approaching zero. We needed more boldness from the LOCOG leadership on this.
“There is still much to play for but there is a danger of political will evaporating once the Games are over. For London and its communities what happens over the coming 10 years is more important than the next 100 days. Success will require strong political leadership from the Mayor - whichever candidate wins."
Notes to Editors
The think tank will publish a more detailed analysis as we draw nearer to the opening of the Games.
Centre for London is a new politically independent, not-for-profit think tank for the capital. We exist to help London build on its great strengths by promoting a better understanding of the economic, social and environmental challenges facing and helping to develop radical and rigorous solutions to them. Centre for London is being incubated by Demos with an aim that it will become independent in time.
Demos is a think tank focused on power and politics.
Rob Whitehead, Deputy Director of Centre for London and Head of Research has been at the forefront of London policy making for over six years. Before joining the centre he was Head of Strategy and Planning at the London Development Agency, leading on developing the Mayor’s economic development strategy.
Beatrice Karol Burks
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