Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


LONRIO — Result In Brief

Project ID: 328402
Funded under: FP7-PEOPLE
Country: United Kingdom

Community influence of London 2012 Olympics

The impact of sports mega events is usually measured in economic or sporting terms. An EU-funded project set out to study the social impact generated by the Olympic Games of London in 2012.
Community influence of London 2012 Olympics
The LONRIO (From the East End of London to the Favelas of Rio de Janeiro: The relevance and transferability of the social legacy programmes of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games) project evaluated the societal effects of the 2012 Olympic Games on the local residents.

Researchers collected data through a questionnaire survey, administered two years after the end of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Participants had to be over 18 and residing in one of the London boroughs during the lead-up to the Olympics. A total of 1 046 fully completed questionnaires were collected, roughly the same amount from each of the 5 boroughs.

Findings show a prevailing conformity amongst the five boroughs on the social impacts of the Paralympics. Regeneration, new infrastructures and increased job opportunities had a positive impact, while an increase in the cost of living, overcrowding, noise and pollution were negatively perceived.

Surprisingly, a substantial amount of people felt that they didn't benefit from the Olympics as individuals. However, they recognised the benefits for the development of the area and they were satisfied with the legacies and outcomes of the Games.

Another general perception was that people's opinions weren't taken into account during the build-up of the Games. Language represented a significant barrier in Newham, where nearly 50 % of the residents know English as a second language.

The low attendance rate from residents (25.9 %) could be due to a combination of the high ticket prices, the overall poverty and high cost of living across the five surveyed areas. This increased the sense of exclusion for some residents. Witnessing the exploits of the Paralympians was felt as a genuine surprise, pleasure and source of inspiration.

Overall, the study highlights the importance of listening to locals, living in the areas impacted by the Games, to better understand their needs and anxieties surrounding the hosting of such sports mega events. Creating long-term jobs and including the local culture and local community in the planning of such events can diminish feelings of marginalisation and exclusion.

The findings of this project are relevant to policymakers, organising committees and local communities involved in or affected by these types of events. Clear and earnest communication and proper inclusion of the local community can positively impact both the events and legacies that these may bring.

Related information


London 2012 Olympics, sports mega events, Olympic Games, LONRIO
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