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East Enders invited to join debate on 2012 Olympic legacy

Queen Mary, University of London is to host a lively discussion on the Olympic legacy and its potential to transform London’s East End from one of the most deprived areas of the UK into an urban regeneration success story.

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This public event takes place on Wednesday 2 December 2009, organised by City Centre, a geographical research unit at Queen Mary, in association with the London Development Agency and the Olympic Park Legacy Company.

Event chair, Queen Mary geographer Professor Jane Wills, explains that participants will “draw on the lessons of previous regeneration initiatives, such as the London Docklands, and explore the potential for 2012 to set a new standard in social, economic and political legacy".

“Back in 2005, the Olympic team promised that London 2012 would provide training and affordable housing for local people. Assurances were also made that this would be the first ever ‘living wage’ Games, with all its workers paid a rate that affords a decent standard of living in the capital.

“We will be asking whether London can succeed in its aim to host the first ethical Games,” she adds.

Dr David Pinder, Director of City Centre, which focuses on geographical research into understanding and improving urban life, will welcome people to the event and introduce the six speakers.

Gregory Nicholls, a former student at St Angela’s and St Bonaventure’s six-form in Newham, and leading member of London Citizens - the community pressure group behind the ‘Living Wage’ campaign - will tell the audience about his involvement in the fight to secure an ethical Olympics.  

The pledges on affordable homes will then be further explored by Zaineb Farooq, Joe Follows, Hanna Lutz and Sital Thanki, undergraduate geographers at Queen Mary, in relation to current efforts to secure new housing for local people on the Olympic site.

Other speakers include Lord Andrew Mawson, OBE, founder and president of the renowned Bromley by Bow Centre in east London; Samantha Sifah of the Olympic Park Legacy Company; and Nick Edwards, co-founder of Fundamental, which facilitates and encourages youth engagement in the built environment.

Dr Bob Colenutt, urban planning expert at the University of Northampton will round off the evening by highlighting the lessons of previous efforts to regenerate east London, focusing in particular on the London Docklands Development of the 1980s and 1990s.

This event is free but registration is essential. Please register at

Lecture: The People’s legacy: community participation in the shaping of East London 2012 and beyond.

Date: Wednesday 2 December

Time: 6.30-8.15pm

Venue: Skeel Lecture Theatre; People’s Palace; Queen Mary, University of London; Mile End Road; London E1 4NS

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