Travel

Tour of the Olympic Village

While the pictures may not seem like all that much, we toured the Olympic Village today in East London!

After exiting the Tube and seeing the buildings surrounding the station, my first thought was why on Earth would they choose to situate the Olympic Village here? The array of abandoned warehouses were complete with graffiti and broken windows, and old parking lots were filled with rusting, broken down cars and machinery.

I found the strategy behind the village’s construction most fascinating. Our wonderful tour guide explained to us that the government wanted to avoid sinking money into the vast development and construction of the Olympic settings, for all to go to waste after 5 short weeks of use. Instead, the investment stemmed from a desire to improve the previous wasteland East London had once been. As a result, in just two years, the face of East London has begun to completely transform. New, modern housing developments have replaced acres and acres of rust and debris and empty buildings, and plans have already come to fruition to alter all of these buildings – the housing for the athletes – into residential areas, complete with schools, medical offices, and a new Tube stop. The area is now also home to Europe’s largest shopping mall.

I don’t have any photos of the apartments, only the various Olympic stadiums and arenas, but I appreciate the foresight the English applied in planning their reception of the Olympics.

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