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Topic Title: E&T Magazine - Debate - London 2012 will leave a lasting engineering legacy for the UK
Topic Summary: London 2012 will leave a lasting engineering legacy for the UK
Created On: 18 July 2012 10:30 AM
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 18 July 2012 10:30 AM
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London 2012 will leave a lasting engineering legacy for the UK

London 2012 will not leave a lasting engineering legacy for the UK

In a nutshell, the two arguments - as featured in the latest issue of E&T magazine - are as follows.

The engineering legacy of the Olympics is, I think, not purely a technical one. In this context I am convinced that the real effect that will be handed down to the nation is that the British engineering community has been able to slay the dragon of "we do not do major projects well in this country". The outcome will be that everybody will say: "Hasn't this gone well?" To which my response as chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) will be "yes". What the ODA has achieved is to demonstrate that if you want complex major engineering projects done well then you can have every confidence in turning to British companies. This is because the Olympic 'big build' in London has been done within budget and to time. And it leaves a meaningful legacy for London.

I completely agree with the proposition that the legacy that London 2012 will leave will be a much better developed east London that otherwise would have been very deprived. It will be a physical construction legacy. Lessons from Athens 2004 and Sydney 2000 have clearly been learned.But in terms of the actual blinking lights, sensors, relays and all the grass roots componentry, as well as the IT, communications, measurement and broadcast transmission systems that go into making the electronic backbone of the games, its hard to see what lasting legacy these will have.

Edited: 18 July 2012 at 10:37 AM by jpwilson
 18 July 2012 02:24 PM
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It was not completed within budget because the first budget presented to the public was about £1.5 billion as I recall. As that was then changed who is to really say what the budget was and in reality the project was scaled back to keep costs down. Building the channel tunnel was a significant engineering achievement but the building which has taken place for London 2012 is more or less using technology and building techniques which we were already familiar with. Regards to completing on time that has more to do with the way the contracts are set up and managed and because in reality a completion date is set which cannot then be is not some big achievement to complete a project on time. The legacy will be some improved sports facilities and some additional people taking up the sport.....who knows, maybe some of those will be engineers who will go on to do great work because they are fit and healthy!


Edited: 19 July 2012 at 08:39 AM by westonpa
 20 July 2012 12:19 AM
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As someone who worked a lot in east london and still drives through there an awful lot, i have to say i am sorry for the hundreds of small business's that were forced out to release the necessary land.
Id also say that there have been far greater engineering achievements in the UK than building a collection of un-necessarily overpriced and over complicated buildings.
Shouldn't we be looking at Canary wharf for building towers in nothing more than reclaimed mud? Or the achievements in this country in the field of motorsport, in which we are a world leader.
A collection of high priced buildings built on land fill from the high speed rail link is nothing to pat ourselves on the back.
The swimming pool for instance will be passed over to the local authority after its use. What chance has the financially broke LA got of maintaining such a building constructed to a virtually unlimited design and financial brief?
I visited Barcelona many years ago, a few years after the olympics were held there. It was a ghost town, overgrown with trees and weeds.

The initial budget for Stratford had presumed (very foolishly) that HMRC would let them off the VAT, and that single mistake had cost them hundreds of millions to start with: how on earth can that make it on budget?
£110 million spent on diverting overhead power lines because of looks. What a waste of money. How many schools or hospitals would that have paid for?

Lack of planning on your part doesn't make it an emergency on mine....

Every man has to know his limitations- Dirty Harry

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