City Preparations for Hosting the Olympics

As the official opening of the 2012 London Olympic Games draws nearer, the pace of preparations increases. However, preparations actually started in 2005 when construction projects began operation. The UK’s National Audit Office (NAO) is the agency responsible for overseeing and managing the 2012 Olympic Game preparations. The NAO has delegated other agencies to effectuate policies and micro-manage the preparations.

The command, coordination, and communication preparations lead organization is the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) which coordinates activities and preparations with the International Olympic Committee. London city operations are led by the Greater London Authority. These operations include managing the city’s transportation network and coordinating other events in London during the Olympic Games. The Olympic Delivery Authority also is responsible for coordinating transportation operations.

Government and nationwide operations are managed by the Government Olympic Executive Committee. These operations include preparing public bodies for the additional government services that must be provided as a result of the Games. This agency is also responsible for preparing areas outside the city of London for hosting Olympic events and athlete’s training camps. The Home Office is the agency responsible for coordinating security and policing in and around the Olympic Park, the city of London, and across the country.

One of LOCOG’s first preparations was to negotiate the purchase of land for the Olympic Park along with the London Development Agency. Additionally, LOCOG is responsible for providing transportation improvements necessary for hosting the Games. Its’ budget was established at approximately £5,000 million. There have been 17 main construction and infrastructure projects designed specifically as a result of hosting the Games.

Two major projects were the regeneration of Stratford City sites adjacent to the Olympic Village and design and construction of the Media Center. The Stratford City preparations in East London included provisions for housing 17,000 athletes and officials, primarily in 68 apartment blocks across 11 residential plots. After the Olympic Games are finished, plans call for conversion of these plots into 2,818 homes, including 1,379 affordable homes. The three Media Center improvement projects were for the International Broadcast Center, Main Press Center for journalists, and 1,300 spaces for a multi-story parking lot.

Improvements to the transportation infrastructure have included work on the Stratford Regional Station and the Docklands Light Railway. Additionally, improvements have been undertaken involving upgrading main rail links such as the West Coast mainline and the Channel Tunnel Rail Link.

Plans have been approved for the hiring of a property management firm to manage residential development of the Olympic Village after the Olympic Games end. Unfortunately, many of the contractors involved have become insolvent, so the Delivery Authority has been designated to handle such problems arising from incomplete projects such as payment of construction liens.

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