The Cultural Olympiad and Cultural Regeneration

Experiencing Cultural Regeneration? Local perceptions of cultural projects and events associated with the Olympic Games.

This research investigates experiences of those involved in cultural projects and events associated with the 2012 Games. It aims to improve understanding of the relationship between culture and regeneration by taking a practice based perspective, grounded in the experience of local cultural providers, policy makers and people involved in cultural activities.  The project focuses on the experience of cultural activities taking place before, during and after the Games in areas undergoing profound physical change, more specifically in the five Olympic Boroughs and the Olympic Park. It examiner the relationship between cultural practice and regeneration from the perspectives of people involved in the process.

The Games were intended to act as a catalyst for a wider and longer term regeneration of East London. The development project associated with 2012 Olympic Games encompasses infrastructural improvements and the wider project aims to improve the economy, image and opportunities in East London. This research seeks to contribute to the understanding of the relationship between culture and regeneration by focusing on the role of culture in creating legacies in the regeneration of the areas around the Olympic Park. It is grounded in perceptions, practice and experience those directly engaged in cultural projects and events. It considers cultural activities in an area undergoing profound physical change in two distinct timeframes: the twelve week London 2012 Festival, before and during the Games; and the events enacted after the Games during 2013. 

The objective is to investigate local peoples experience and understanding focussing on:
1. engagement in the London 2012 Festival and cultural festival/projects in 2013 
2. legacy aspirations for the communities and places close to the Olympic Park 
3. perceptions about the contribution of cultural projects to the wider regeneration process. 

This project contributes to the development of the emerging area of cultural regeneration, offering theoretical and practical insights of relevance to the academic community, policy makers and practitioners engaged in regeneration activities.