A promised future and the open city: issues of anticipation in Olympic legacy designs
|Published in:||arq: Architectural Research Quarterly, December 2014, n. 4, v. 18|
In the literature that has dealt to date with architecture and urban design related to London's 2012 Olympics and their urban legacy, emphasis has been placed on questions ofwhereandwhathas been built or envisioned, and on how this can be viewed as reflective of broader political agendas, economic contexts and accompanying issues. In this, there has been relatively little emphasis on design processes and ideas, and particularly on questions of how these are oriented toward and help construct urban legacy as a future – as a matter ofhowandwhen. An urban legacy design process was established in 2008 to facilitate the transition of the Olympic Park to a set of new neighbourhoods by 2031 and, through it, to help fulfil a promise of long-term sustainable regeneration for east London. The twenty-three year timeframe and its intended outcome raise questions concerning the urban and architectural imagination of distant futures as of the possible processes of their realisation. Indeed, the ability to design for legacy depends on ways of anticipating the social, political and economic realities that will shape development in east London in the future and of using these to both chart and represent possible paths and conceptual approaches to desired outcomes.
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