The results of the survey indicate that respondents most strongly believe that the Olympics should focus on constructing permanent new facilities and regenerating London, something which the Greenwich Park site is unlikely to achieve. Indeed, one of the strongest areas of disagreement is in the use of existing historic facilities, which the overwhelming majority, 14 out of 20 respondents, felt should not be used in the Olympics. This tends to indicate that the Greenwich Park development would not be seen as being beneficial or desirable by respondents.
Whilst respondents did not seem overly concerned about the use of Greenwich Park as an Olympic venue, this could be because a lot of them were not completely sure of the detailed plans for using the park. I decided to do a survey to get an up-to-date feedback on the current plans of Greenwich Park. I felt that surveying people at the university and the park might give me an insight as to how the park users and students felt about the plans. Judging by the level of response I can also asses how many people knew about the plans.
This will lead me to conclude that the plans may have not been widely accessible to park users and student, or the plans may not yet be official and so the plans may have not been approved. It is possible that, as the park is a popular attraction for tourists, park users may not all be from the local area, and hence wouldn’t know about changes and plans for the park. There is very little literature available around the post Olympic plans for Greenwich Park, largely because there do not seem to be any specific plans. London2012.
com (2008) only states that after the games the temporary structures which will have been constructed will be removed. As such, the main consideration for after the Olympics will be how the Park will be restored to its former status, and how any damage will be handled. Owen (2008) claims that which the organising committee for the Games wishes to avoid any impact on the park and the historic trees within it, trees will almost definitely have to be removed and other aspects of the park will be damaged, including many of the paths which will be converted to cross country tracks.
This damage will be compounded by the fact that the Olympics will be exempted from making and contributions to the upkeep of the park, hence the cost of repairing or replacing any damage will be down to the park itself (Owen, 2008). In addition, Inside the Games (2008) reports that the park may need to be closed for around ten month in the run up to the games, whilst significant work is carried out. This would potentially have major effects on the wildlife at the site, particularly the deer, foxes and birds which live in the park.
In addition, there is concern that the park will not retain its character after the Olympics, and many of the facilities will not be available for locals or tourists for a long period of time after the Games. This could have a major impact on the future of the park, as people may look for alternative sources of recreation and may not return to the park if it is not properly restored (Inside the Games, 2008). When considering the plans to use Greenwich as part of the Olympic Games, it is important to realise that the facilities for the Games will have to exist somewhere, and must be either created or existing facilities must be used.
It has been suggested that the equestrian events could be held at venues such as Badminton or Hickstead, however a survey by KPMG has revealed that these sites would be more expensive, and would be less convenient to reach from London (Beard, 2008). Therefore, the main benefits of hosting the Olympic events at Greenwich Park will be that it is cheaper and more convenient for spectators to reach the park as it is in London and is close to the main venue at Stratford. In addition, local businesses such as bars and restaurants will likely see a significant increase in trade due to the large number of visitors expected in the area.
With regards to the costs, the main costs are likely to be the costs of returning the park to its former condition, as well as the costs to local businesses and residents in terms of the traffic congestion and disruption. Indeed, in contrast to venues such as Stratford, which is well served by two underground lines and numerous rail connections, Greenwich Park is relatively difficult to reach, with only limited rail access, and the DLR providing some connection to Stratford.
This implies that congestion is likely to be a serious cost to the local area, with many businesses potentially having difficulty with deliveries due to the traffic, and local residents finding the area much more crowded than usual. Other costs will come from factors such as litter, which will need to be cleaned, and any potential damage or vandalism. The risks are largely covered in the cost analysis above: there is a significant risk that the park will suffer sustained damage from the event, and there is the risk of litter and vandalism in the surrounding area.
Additional risks are that the facilities will not be completed on time, and that they may result in long term closure of the park due to the need to construct the cross country track and other facilities. There is also a risk that the costs of the Olympics and the cleanup will be much greater than expected, and will need to be covered by additional local taxes on businesses and local residents. Indeed, the analysis of the literature and the costs, benefits and risks of using Greenwich Park in the Olympics indicates that there is cause for concern amongst local residents, but there does not seem to be a viable alternative.
As such, it appears that Greenwich Park will be used in the Olympics, and the focus should instead be on mitigating the impact of the Olympics and ensuring that the park is not damaged by the facilities and visitors. This would imply that, in contrast to the findings in the literature above, there should be some detailed plans for the park after the Olympics, including how the park will be restored to its current status, and ensuring that residents and users of the park will not suffer from the Olympic usage. This report has been most useful for me in developing my study skills.
It has helped me to conduct research on a specific topic, but ensure that said research covered a wide range of areas. In particular, whilst there was not much literature available on any planned usage of the park after the Olympics, I was able to think laterally around this, and look into other areas such as concerns around how the park would be managed following the Games. Study skills are very Okay, well I decided to do a survey to get an up-to-date feedback on the current plans of Greenwich Park. I felt that surveying people at the park might give me an insight as to how the park users and students felt about the plans.
Judging on the level of response I can also asses how many people knew about the plans. This will lead me to conclude that the plans may have not been widely accessible to park users and student or the fact that the plans are not official and so the plans may have not been approved. The survey would also allow me to suggest that the feedback varied due to geographical factors. I could say that the park is a popular attraction for tourists and so hence they wouldn’t have a “clue” about changes and plans for the park.