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The Observer: "Olympic Village – long-distance vision marred by short-sighted flaws"

Link to The Observer

"The athletes' village has been built to house the 17,000 competitors and officials in the Olympic Games, after which it will become a new neighbourhood of about 1,400 affordable homes and another 1,400 for profit. Its success is vital to London 2012's hopes of legacy: if it prospers, office blocks are likely to rise around it, and dreams of regeneration – the theoretical justification of the whole Olympic exercise – are more likely to come true.

"Most housing [proposals] nowadays consists of expedient, opportunistic developments, thrown up with minimal consideration for the larger area of which they will be a part. [Of whom might he have been thinking?]

"... It has to be said that the look of the village is a tad forbidding, not indeed very villagey at all. It consists of a series of cuboid blocks of eight to 12 storeys, clad in prefabricated concrete panels, laid out on a rigid rectangular grid. [Link to "Cllr Cornelius and his Cladding".]

"... All this construction – many billions worth of station, shopping and housing – has been delivered in the past few years, with ... the close oversight of public planning authorities, yet it does not feel like a work of unified intelligence. [Of whom might WE be thinking?]

"The strengths and weaknesses of the athletes' village reflect the way it was achieved. It started off, in the mid-90s, as a bold plan by the developers Chelsfield for a 'new metropolitan centre', with homes, offices and shopping, which was drawn up over six years of planning and consultation."

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