I was interviewed on Sunday evening on BBC News, about the legacy of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. You can watch the interview below. I talk about the impact of the Games on London’s tourism and also the fact that it is unrealistic to expect the Games to have much of a long-term impact outside of East London.
I’ll be speaking at a salon event at this festival of new cinema, digital culture and art on Saturday 1st September. Also speaking will be Jennifer M Jones, the coordinator for #media2012, a national-wide citizen media network for London 2012. We’re contributing to Salon #3 ‘Too big to fail?’, a debate on the costs of hosting a successful Olympics .
You can read much more about AND from their excellent website, from which you can also download the programme for the whole festival. In the text below, the organisers explain what they are all about:
Abandon Normal Devices (AND) is an energetic regional festival of new cinema, digital culture and art. The festival takes place annually in Liverpool and Manchester on alternate years, with an extended regional programme.
Our mission is to push the boundaries of audience experience through a programme that spills out of galleries and screens into the streets of the Northwest.
With a curatorial attitude of participation and innovation, AND has enabled collaborations across the UK’s pioneering digital, science, design and media sectors.
Last night I was invited to take part in a debate on the BBC News Channel about the legacy of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in London. You can watch the video below:
I’m going to be on the BBC News tonight, at some point around 9pm, debating the legacy of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games with Ian Sinclair, who has had a great deal to say about the negative impacts of the Olympics in East London. I take the view that 2012 is making a hugely significant contribution to the development of the city and that its impacts are, broadly speaking, positive, even if it may be many years before they are fully felt. I wrote about this in my blog for the Metro newspaper recently and I’ve copied the article below…
At a time when the Government is regularly criticized for cutting spending and not investing in big projects to get the economy moving, why are people so angry about the billions being spent on the Olympics?
Ever since the Government first announced its intentions to cut public spending on a scale scarcely anyone had thought possible, the cry from the opposition and campaigners has been for the government to spend.
These cries make good sense; invest now in big infrastructure projects, create jobs in construction and manufacturing, prop up areas suffering worst from the effects of the economic crisis.
Another set of demands; invest in sustainable development, in young people, in culture and sport, and invest in long-term projects that leave a lasting legacy.
The money that has been spent on the development of the Olympic Park in Stratford meets these criteria and should be seen as the one shining example of where this otherwise spendthrift government is doing exactly what its critics says it should: spending big.
Celebrate the fact that the government is actually spending some money where it is needed
The total cost to the taxpayer of staging the Olympics will probably end up somewhere between 12-15billion. That money has been spent over seven years and hasn’t really been affected by the public spending cuts.
That money has directly created thousands of jobs and, indirectly, tens of thousands more. The excuse of a few weeks of sport has allowed successive governments to transform the fortunes of a part of east London that has suffered from multiple deprivations for a generation.
Infrastructure developments on this scale always leave victims. If it were possible to create projects that didn’t involve forced evictions, that didn’t create opportunities for a sometimes greedy private sector and that didn’t cause political controversy, then someone would have worked that out by now. But whether it’s a bridge, an airport, a bypass, a conference centre or a mega-event, investments of global significance can never be politically neutral.
It is the job of governments to make the case for their spending and to satisfy the public that they really will benefit from it. Successive governments haven’t won that argument.
But we pay taxes every day for services and projects that some of us will never use like schools, pensions, social services and defense. Add the Olympics to that list, think about the benefits that it can deliver, and celebrate the fact that the government is actually spending some money where it is needed.
Over the next few months, I’m going to be blogging for the Metro Newspaper about the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in London. I’m going to concentrate on the non-sporting aspects of the Olympics, as I’m no sporting expert, and I’ll have a focus on issues surrounding the impacts of the Games, economically, socially and culturally. You can click on the image below to see my most recent posts.
I’ll be contributing to this event at the end of May….
A Sporting Chance: the legacies of mega-events for post-industrial British cities
23rd and 24th May 2012
Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change (CRESC), University of Manchester
Comparing the city of Manchester, ten years after it hosted the Commonwealth Games, with London – host to the Olympic Games in 2012, this two day workshop invites critical inter-disciplinary discussion and evaluation of the legacies of sporting mega-events for post-industrial British cities.
The workshop is funded by the new Urban Experiments research theme at CRESC and brings together twelve academics whose research is concerned, in various ways, with exploring the socio-economic, political and material transformations brought about by post-industrialisation and/or sporting mega events billed as catalysts for urban regeneration.
Mike Raco, Professor of Urban and Regional Governance, The Bartlett School of Planning, UCL, London.
Dr Adam Brown, Director and founder member of Substance research cooperative, Manchester
Professor John Gold, Department of History, Philosophy and Religion – Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Oxford Brookes University.
Professor John Horne, Professor of Sport and Sociology, University of Central Lancashire
Dr Larissa Davies, Senior Research Fellow Sport Industry Research Centre Sheffield Hallam University
Dr. Andrew Smith, School of Architecture and the Built Environment, University of Westminster
James Kennell, Director Economic Development Resource Centre, University of Greenwich Business School.
Camilla Lewis, PhD candidate, Social Anthropology, University of Manchester
Beth Carley, PhD candidate, Cathy Marsh Centre for Survey and Social Research, University of Manchester
Gillian Evans, RCUK Research Fellow, CRESC, University of Manchester
Allan Cochrane, Professor of Urban Studies, Social Sciences, Open University
For more information and to reserve a place contact K.D.email@example.com
I’ll be speaking at this Inside Government event on 7th December in London. My talk will examine the links between economic development and tourism in the UK, in the context of the economic crisis. Click on the image below to go straight to the event booking page which has a list of all the invited speakers. I’ve copied some of the information about what looks to be an excellent day underneath.
Tourism is essential to Britain’s economy. Government statistics show that tourism generates £97 billion each year, employs over 3 million people and supports thousands of businesses. The government aims to help tourism achieve its potential as a central part of Britain’s growth strategy.
Britain’s landmarks, monuments, countryside and culture attract visitors from all over the world. Major international events such as the Royal Wedding, Diamond Jubilee and the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games provide a great opportunity to boost tourism, showcasing what Britain has to offer, and created a sustained tourism legacy.
Developing the visitor economy is a priority for the coalition government. The Government Tourism Policy, published in March 2011, aims to harness the potential this area holds to grow Britain’s economy. Objectives include growing the overseas market across the country using London 2012 and other sporting and cultural events, strengthening the domestic tourism market, increasing private sector investment and increasing flexibility for local tourist organisations. There is also a focus on improving Britain’s international gateways and national transport infrastructure.
The tourism strategy is driven by a local agenda. Destination Management Organisations will work with Visit England, local authorities, local enterprise partnerships, and local businesses to regenerate and market their area in the most effective way.
A £100 million partnership marketing fund, co-funded by the government and the private sector, will aim to draw 4 million extra visitors to Britain over the next 4 years, which equates to a £2 billion spend for Britain’s economy, and 50,000 new jobs. The government has also announced the Regional Growth Fund (RGF), worth £1.4 billion, which supports projects that use private sector investment to create regional economic growth and employment.
This forum comes at a time of exciting growth for the sector, and will offer delegates the opportunity to understand the implications of the new government tourism strategy in boosting the tourist industry. Key issues to be discussed include strategies for promoting the growth of the visitor economy, and best practice for delivering services, partnership working and localism.
Speakers include representatives of:
*photo courtesy of Chris Campbell: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cgc/
The presentation I gave at this event is below:
This is the presentation that Charles Bladen and I gave at yesterday’s SHIFT 2011 conference at the University of Greenwich. It sets out some of the framework of ideas behind a research project that we are developing, in which we are taking a critical perpsective on the ethics and practicalities of voluneering by event management students and graduates.