London 2012 Games Evaluation
Hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London provided a catalyst for improvements across a number of areas of city life and London has already achieved a great deal in terms of securing a tangible legacy. The 2012 Games provided the city with unprecedented opportunities to bring communities together and share unique experiences, create jobs, improve London's transport infrastructure and boost tourism during a time of economic austerity. In addition, they brought much needed world class sporting venues to the city, provided thousands of volunteering opportunities for Londoners and a four-year cultural festival, as well as enhancing London's global reputation.
Before the Games, the GLA and London Councils commissioned Christ Church Canterbury University to produce this independent study, in order to understand the impact London government's work in preparation for the 2012 Games and their legacy. It was also important for us to understand what lessons could be learnt from the successful planning and delivery of the Games for London generally and for future large-scale events here and elsewhere.
Our priorities for Londoners from the Games were to:
- support Londoners to do more sport and be more physically active
- encourage Londoners to volunteer and play a more active role in their community
- promote arts, culture and local heritage to more people and invite them to celebrate in their communities
- maximise the economic benefit to our communities through improved jobs, business and tourism
- maximise the opportunity to physically improve local areas
- inspire all, from young to old, to join in and get involved
- create better collaborative working between public sector agencies.
The success of the Games in all these areas was largely due to long-term planning for effective delivery. The most important critical success factor was the unprecedented level of partnership and co-ordination between the different parts of London’s public services, including the Mayor, his functional bodies and London local authorities. This partnership working delivered integrated policy outcomes across sectors, which were driven by a high profile, cross-party political will to deliver.
One of the best examples of this was the Mayor’s ‘A Summer Like No Other’ campaign and in particular the Showtime outdoor arts festival which saw the GLA develop and procure an exciting programme of art and culture which toured across the whole of London. London local authorities in turn worked with the GLA to resource and plan the hosting of the festival locally. Critical to this success was the understanding of all involved, that legacy was not an inevitable outcome of hosting the Games but required an approach that was effectively supported by all tiers of London government.