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What is Event-led Regeneration? Are we Confusing Terminology or Will London 2012 be the First Games to Truly Benefit the Local Existing Population?

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When London won the bid to host the Games, the vision was underpinned by key themes, one of which was to leave a legacy of benefiting the community through regeneration. The regeneration of the Lower Lea Valley was promised to be for the direct benefit of everyone who lives and works there, involving significant social and economic advancement. However, Mace, Hall, and Gallent draw parallels through the previous urban regeneration projects in major cities and they argue that for regeneration to work it has to be for the benefit of the existing communities and not “new” communities who inhabit the area post the Games. Could this happen in East London and, despite Government plans, the developments lead to an extension of the Docklands renaissance, inhabited instead by mostly middle class workers? This article explores the difference between regeneration and gentrification in the context of London 2012 and other Olympic Games. Much of the published literature regarding London's legacy of urban regeneration has a positive slant, yet, through the analysis of documentation from previous Games and through in-depth interviews with key stakeholders, the research highlights a number of issues that London 2012 will need to address.

Keywords: COMMUNITY AS “STAKEHOLDER”; EVENT LEGACIES; GENTRIFICATION; LONDON 2012; REGENERATION

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2009

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  • Event Management, an International Journal, intends to meet the research and analytic needs of a rapidly growing profession focused on events. This field has developed in size and impact globally to become a major business with numerous dedicated facilities, and a large-scale generator of tourism. The field encompasses meetings, conventions, festivals, expositions, sport and other special events. Event management is also of considerable importance to government agencies and not-for-profit organizations in a pursuit of a variety of goals, including fund-raising, the fostering of causes, and community development.
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