A joint special President’s award was made last week (16 January) at a meeting of the General Assembly of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) to the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) and the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDA).
The whole Olympic project from start to finish exemplifies the power of planning and what can be achieved within the existing planning system when there is the will and the resources to bring it about. The Masterplan for the site sets out the overall direction not only in bringing about the completed development and site works but the future of the area. The original brownfield site was one of the most contaminated in London containing a munitions dump, battery and match making factories, electricity pylons, and abandoned waterways.
The creation of Queen Elizabeth Park is a lasting legacy of the London Olympic and Paralympic Games. The 102 hectare Olympic site is the largest new urban park in the capital. It has venues for major concerts and sporting events as well as 11,000 new homes in five new neighbourhoods including new schools and health facilities for new communities. This will create 8,000 new jobs plus a 2,500-strong temporary construction workforce. There will be new infrastructure, including roads and a new high street. This shows the ability of positive planning to improve and change people’s lives for the good by creating sustainable communities.
Pictured: Sir John Armitt, Chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) and Anthony Hollingsworth from the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDA), accepted the award in London from Peter Geraghty and Colin Haylock.
Colin Haylock, President 2012-13, and design advisor to the Mayor said: “The Award is based on quite exceptional planning thinking and action in the conception and delivery of the Olympic and Paralympic Games - but more than that - The conception of using the Games to not just regenerate a desperately derelict and complex part of East London, but to change the nature of this part of East London so radically that it would make a fundamental contribution to the long term objective of delivering convergence between the social, economic and environmental performance of East London with that of the rest of London.”
Dr Peter Geraghty
Dr Peter Geraghty, President 2013-14, said: “The choice of the Olympics for a President’s Award spoke for itself. It is an exemplar for what it is to be proud of planning. The Olympics, in 2012, was an event that brought pride to the nation and created a great sense of achievement. But the role planning and planners played in bringing it about was fundamental. It is not just about a world-class sporting venue but the masterplanning will enable the legacy of urban improvements to take place that are transformational. I am proud to be able to present a joint president’s award with Colin Haylock to the Olympic Delivery Authority and the London Legacy Development Corporation.”
The award was presented at Dr Geraghty’s last General Assembly in his role as RTPI President. His valedictory speech can be heard here or read here.