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The Making of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

ISBN: 978-1-119-94069-2
288 pages
January 2013
The Making of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (1119940699) cover image


This is the story of The Making of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park by the Olympic Delivery Authority. Situated in east London adjacent to Victoria Park, one of the world’s earliest public parks built in the 19th century, the Park provides an innovative blueprint for contemporary urban park design and is recognised as an exemplar sustainable development for the 21st century. As a primary legacy of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Park was conceived as a new piece of sustainable city, transforming a largely neglected, contaminated, post-industrial district, into a new community for up to 20,000 residents, shifting the centre of gravity of London eastwards.

Written by those at the heart of the project, it draws significantly on contributions from the many experts who have shaped and guided the creation of the Park, including interviews with the key players responsible for delivering the project. It provides the only authoritative account of the planning, design and construction of the Park beginning with the bid to host the games, setting out its historical, philosophical and physical context; describing the strategic fit within the Thames Gateway, Lower Lea Valley and Stratford City; explaining how One Planet Living principles developed by WWF and BioRegional underpinned sustainability throughout the project; and concludes with a ‘Walk in Park’ capturing its essence for both Games and Legacy.

Richly illustrated, it is a unique reference for those involved in the planning, design, delivery and management of sustainable urban parks and new communities on post-industrial and other land, and those seeking to host future Games and other large-scale international events.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 5

Foreword – Sir Nicholas Serota 8

Introduction – The Power of the Games 12

Chapter One – Start with the Park 22

Interview: Alison Nimmo CBE 36

Interview: Jason Prior & Bill Hanway 46

Chapter Two – Delivering the Park 60

Interview: Sir David Higgins 66

Interview: Ian Galloway OBE & Matt Heal 80

Chapter Three – Planning and Designing the Park 104

Interview: George Hargreaves 116

Interview: Andrew Harland & Neil Mattinson 140

Interview: Sarah Price 154

Chapter Four – Constructing the Park 166

Interview: Simon Wright OBE 180

Interview: Tom Armour & Bill Grose / Alison Braham & Martyn Lass MBE 190

Interview: Professor Nigel Dunnett & James Hitchmough 210

Chapter Five – A Walk in the Park 228

Interview: Dennis Hone 236

Interview: Sir John Armitt 244

Afterword – Professor James Corner 260

Schedule of Teams Involved in the Project 264

Glossary 269

References 272

Index 278

Picture Credits 286

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Author Information

John Hopkins DipLA MLA FLI ASLA is a landscape architect, environmental planner and urban designer. He was project sponsor for the parklands and public realm at the Olympic Delivery Authority from 2007 to 2011 and is currently visiting professor of landscape architecture at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Greenwich.

Peter Neal BA (Hons), DipLA, MDes, Dip Ecology, FLI is a landscape architect, environmental planner and urban designer. He was head of public space at the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment from 2003 to 2011 and has acted as an adviser to the Olympic Delivery Authority for the Parklands and Public Realm since 2006. He currently runs his own landscape planning and design consultancy specializing in urban parks and the public realm.

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