An exploratory study of the sustainable legacy created by the London 2012 Olympic Games in the host community, Stratford.
(2015) An exploratory study of the sustainable legacy created by the London 2012 Olympic Games in the host community, Stratford., no. 123.
London 2012 Olympic Games (LOG2012) brought investment and innumerable benefits to the host community, Stratford. A stated objective of LOG2012 was that these benefits could be sustained and bring long-term socio economic development in Stratford. This study utilises Elkington's (1997) triple bottom line approach to sustaining development and explores whether or not engaged stakeholders believe these three criteria (social, economic and environmental conditions) were met through the sporting mega event. Gathering data through a series of interviews, supported by qualitative content analysis, the researcher gained an understanding of what benefits LOG2012 has bought to Stratford, and whether stakeholders perceive these may be sustained. The study found that stakeholders thought LOG2012 had a positive impact on the local area with the majority expecting that these benefits could be sustained into the future. All respondents were aware of the social benefits of, improved transport, job opportunities and social cohesion. There was not, however, a general awareness amongst stakeholders about the economic and environmental improvements in the area that would, in accordance with the triple bottom line paradigm, enable the benefits from LOG2012 to be sustained. This suggests that despite benefitting Stratford, LOG2012 has not sufficiently developed the green and economic infrastructure of the community to support sustained growth therefore failing to achieve the desired Olympic legacy. As people's perspectives are inherently social, further analyses are required to understand to what extent the economic and environmental impacts are recognised socially. This would provide a greater insight to the success of LOG2012 in creating a sustainable legacy in Stratford.