So here’s a funny thing. We managed to do an entire podcast about the Olympics in cities, without saying the words “Rio de Janeiro” once. That’s weird, isn’t it?
Anyway. In a shameless bid for news relevance and SEO, this week, we’re talking about whether hosting a massively over-priced sporting jamboree is really the best way of regenerating a city.
Stephanie and I talk about why Barcelona ‘92 worked, but Athens ‘04 didn’t; discuss the various alternative models for hosting the Olympics that periodically come up for discussion; explore the long-forgotten time when town planning was an Olympic event (yes, really); and have a long and involved argument about whether dressage (“horse-dancing”) would be improved if the horses were drunk.
Then, festival producer Sara Doctors, who’s been working on cultural events in east London for many years, gives us a guided tour of London’s Olympic Park, past, present and future, and explains the role the 2012 games played in speeding up the regeneration of Stratford.
We also hear from Peter Watts about a London regeneration scheme with a rather different history: the decades-long failure to do something with Battersea Power Station. Watts recently published a book on this topic, Up In Smoke; if that’s a bit long for you, he wrote an article on the topic for these very pages.
Last but not least, listener Jeremy Broome – a Brit, who’s spent the last decade in Singapore – tells us about his city.
- Drew Reed on Rio’s Olympics of urban planning disasters (“Which one will win the gold?“)
- 20 photos which prove that hosting the Olympics is a great way to regenerate a city
- Barbara Speed on what makes a successful Olympic legacy
- Here are five good reasons not to host the Olympic Games
- And here’s how we fix it
- Peter Watts on whether Battersea Power Station could really be facing demolition
- Lastly, since we mention it on the podcast, Ed Jefferson on platform numbering.