Notes on Olympic Legacies

The Olympics have shown what can be done when many pull together.

On contested fields, athletes strove to their limits and reminded us that every nation on earth can come together peacefully, with each one proud of their achievement. Over time, sport will surely replace war, as our way of communion and resolving difference, through fun, rather than bloodshed.

Superb television coverage (at least here in Britain) meant that what was a wealthy person’s games, could be enjoyed by all, and along with the junk food, these are the two key design conundrums that will need to be thought through for Rio: how can the poor be part of the festival and how can visitors be proffered decent food?

The buildings that formed a backdrop to tussles and duels were themselves historic and modern jewels of architecture, inviting those who did not attend, to come and visit Britain in the future. Now we have evidence, for the future,, we can build enough homes for our people, in such ways that they last for hundreds of years and set the future free.

For those who traveled from afar and experienced our functional permeability, passing through our transport nodes, they will have an impression of being on a smooth conveyor belt. We will improve our resting places with sculptured seats and fountains, so you can pause next time, and watch the flow.

Gone is the impression that Britons are happier saying goodbye, rather than welcoming guests. Here were beaming friendly faces of our own from every continent, greeting the nations of the world to our cosmopolitan culture: the future belongs to the traveler. 

There were tears of joy and some for loss, legends made with others eclipsed, and some relief that such a spectacle did not descend into grief. There is now a thirty year project to create the Olympic Pleasure Gardens, so we can pick up our shovels and dig out our chisels and nurture the Lea Valley into a post-industrial paradise.

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