2012: Summer of Discontent for East London
London is famous for being home to a number of stunning and iconic buildings. But the latest addition to the capital ΓÇô the Olympic Park in Stratford ΓÇô is feared to become a failure after the hype has died this summer.
Critics have denigrated the Meccano-like structure of the 2012 Olympic Stadium, the ΓÇÿuglyΓÇÖ Olympic Village for athletes and the ΓÇÿbizarreΓÇÖ monolith modern art structure that will stand at twice the height of NelsonΓÇÖs Column.
Now, the latest addition to the Olympic furore, another controversial plan has been unveiled in the form of a flat pack neighbourhood, designed and built by Ikea ΓÇÿin the Swedish philosophyΓÇÖ.
Summer 2012 is expected to bring in phenomenal revenue to London, giving the nation a much-needed boost out of economic turmoil and launching us back onto the world stage with a bang. So whatΓÇÖs the bee in everyoneΓÇÖs bonnet?
Some local people are mourning the loss of a beautiful open wilderness that had sprung up in Stratford over derelict land, as Annie Chipchase, Anti-Olympics Campaigner, reminisces:
ΓÇ£It was this derelict area of East London, but the wildlife had come back. You walked off Stratford High Road and you were suddenly in the country with interesting habitats and species.ΓÇ¥
But more than the loss of natural space and the looming inevitability of transport chaos, it seems that Londoners are concerned with what will happen once the Olympic Games have retreated to the history books.
Following the legacy of such sites as the Millennium Dome and Wembley Stadium, and Olympic buildings reported to lie abandoned around the world, many local people are openly concerned that once the athletes are packed and gone, the area will lie useless and abandoned.
ΓÇ£They (the buildings) will leave a great legacy for athletes, visitors and local people alike,ΓÇ¥ the Olympic Park Legacy Company insists, but critics fear for the worst.
Until the final product is unveiled in East London, the capital remains watchful and divided. Is the Olympic Park the pathway to a bright and regenerated future for Stratford? Or will the site drain the country of over ┬ú9 billion for a few moments of fame and then lie in expensive disuse for the foreseeable future?
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