News / Europe

East London Still Waiting for Olympics Legacy

East London Still Waiting for Olympics Legacyi
X
August 07, 2013 11:41 AM
London is marking the first anniversary of what were widely hailed as very successful Olympic Games. Officials say the promised long-term benefits from the games are being delivered. But VOA’s Al Pessin found that many people who live near the Olympic Park are still waiting to see them.
Al Pessin
London is marking the first anniversary of what were widely hailed as very successful Olympic Games. Officials say the promised long-term benefits from the games are being delivered.  Many people who live near the Olympic Park are still waiting to see them.

It seems like a long time ago that people crowded the Olympic Park, decked out in national colors and ready to cheer for their favorite athletes.

Now, there are some events in the Olympic Park, but the stadium and iconic tower stand mostly silent behind homes in the Stratford neighborhood.  There is a shiny new shopping center, but the nearby High Street looks much as it did before the Olympics.

Steve, a demolition expert, has lived in the area for 20 years. “It was like a building site while they were doing it.  It was like a holiday park when it was on.  And when they’ve all gone, it’s like the circus has left town,” he said.

Construction of expensive new housing doesn't impress many local residents, who are disillusioned about the promised Olympics legacy.

“It created a lot of revenue, but that was a one-off.  So, in the long term, I don’t think it’s done a lot for this area at all,” said student Maria.

“It’s brought lot of jobs but let’s just see how it goes in five years’ or 10 years’ time,” said Frances, rehabilitation worker.

Frances has the right idea, according to Professor Allan Brimicombe of the University of East London. He's been studying the "Olympics Effect" for years.    

“It will come but it’s not going to be immediate.  And those types of benefits gradually grow," explained Brimicombe. "It’s on the politicians, to make sure that the benefits that can come from this are actually obtained.”

One of the key politicians with that responsibility is the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson. He claims the city is already getting an Olympics boost. “I think that it is very largely, or at least partially, as a result of those Olympics and Paralympics that we are seeing what I think is an unquestioned surge of confidence and optimism about investment in London,” he said.

Officials claim there has been more than 15 billion dollars of job-creating investment directly linked to the Olympics, with more on the way.

And it would be wrong to say everyone in the Games’ neighborhood is a skeptic. Andrew, an umemployed laborer stated, "I’d say it’s a pretty positive impact, because it’s sort of like brought the area up to speed.”

“It’s just great for everybody, just fantastic,” added homemaker Linda.

For some, the aura of the Games lingers as they wait for tangible benefits the organizers and politicians have promised.

You May Like

Video Video Claims to Show Shi'ite Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

While not yet independently confirmed, brutal killing already has gotten attention of Islamic State followers on social media More

After Six Years, Little Change for Niger Delta's Former Militants

Nigerians who laid down arms in exchange for government amnesty subsidies fear program may end with upcoming presidential elections More

Vietnam Pushes for More Educated Drivers to Curb Road Deaths

Transportation officials hope that making a greater effort to get drivers to learn the rules of the road will reduce fatal crashes More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planeti
X
George Putic
March 04, 2015 8:51 PM
NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960's Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7th to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960’s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More