Journal Article

Land remediation, event spaces and the pursuit of Olympic legacy


This paper explores the links between remediating land for Olympic event spaces and the pursuit of legacy. In particular, it considers ways in which redevelopment of the sizeable spaces prepared for staging the event take their place in broader strategies intended to bring long-term benefits to the host city and society in order to compensate for the costs and inconvenience originally incurred in hosting the Games. There are six main sections. The first analyses the diverse nature of brownfield land and highlights salient characteristics of its remediation for use in urban regeneration. The second supplies background to Olympic legacy and indicates the importance of the changing climate of ideas in understanding the formulation of legacy over the past two decades. The third section documents the role of remediation as an option employed recently by Games’ organisers when needing to find spaces of suitable size to stage the Olympics, noting how choosing remediation ab initio involves commitment to legacy. The fourth and fifth parts analyse approaches to implementing remediation, with respect to the key event spaces for two of the twenty-first century’s Summer Games: Homebush Bay, which housed the Olympic Park for Sydney 2000; and the Lower Lea Valley, which served the same function for London 2012. The final section provides commentary on the wider narratives of transformation associated with deployment of remediated sites for Olympic event spaces and indicates the significance of the values that have underpinned those narratives.

Attached files


Gold, John R.
Gold, Margaret M.

Oxford Brookes departments

Department of Social Sciences


Year of publication: 2020
Date of RADAR deposit: 2020-02-04

© Wiley 2020. All rights reserved. “This is the peer reviewed version. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions."

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