London 2012: a sustainable legacy?

A recent ABC article describes the 2012 Olympics as ‘an inspiration that enriches Anglo-Spanish relations’, pointing out the role played by the British Chamber of Commerce in Spain (BCCS) over the last 104 years in strengthening these relations (and mentioning Adam Austerfield of LSE Enterprise as the BCCS’s vice president).

In recognition of the two countries’ shared Olympic experiences, the latest Catalan Observatory event at LSE explores the Games as an instrument for social and urban regeneration, looking at how to ensure a sustainable legacy.

First, Vicente Guallart, the Chief Architect for Barcelona City Council, and Professor Ricky Burdett, the Director of LSE Cities, will explore how the Games give the host city an opportunity to improve the economic and social profile of particular urban areas. The will to do this depends on the capacity to mobilise and involve institutional, economic and political actors with divergent aims. The 1992 Games in Barcelona have long been used as a model to follow, while London is going a step further and using the Olympics as the basis for regenerating the new Olympic Park district.

Next, Antoni Vives, Barcelona’s Deputy Mayor for Urban Habitat, and Emeritus Professor Andy Thornley of LSE Urban Planning will discuss the management of the Olympics infrastructure, buildings and spaces and how profitability and sustainability can be assured. Twenty years on, Barcelona’s experience offers a basis for analysis of the challenges and successes of these tasks.

The event will be chaired by Tony Travers, Head of the LSE Greater London Group. It will begin at 2.30pm on Tuesday 15 May 2012 with a welcome by Professor Paul Preston, Chair of the Catalan Observatory, and end at 5.30pm, followed by a drinks reception.

Venue: Alumni Theatre, New Academic Building, Lincoln’s Inn, London WC2A 3LJ