While the supermen and women of Stratford scrap it out over the last of the Paralympic medals, plans have already been unveiled revealing what’s to become of the Olympic Park after the curtain falls on London 2012. Scheduled to reopen on July 27 2013, (exactly a year to the day after that opening ceremony) the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park – as it’s to be called– won’t initially look all that different. In fact, the first stage of redevelopment, being undertaken by the London Legacy Development Corporation, is more about downsizing. Come next summer, the water polo and riverbank arenas will both be gone and the aquatic centre’s iconic wings will be clipped, providing space for acres of new parkland, among which LLDC have promised we’ll see ‘hundreds of community and cultural events’.
Don’t panic, though – the second phase is much more exciting. By March 2014, the velodrome will be transformed into Lee Valley VeloPark (incorporating a slightly-less-lethal version of the Olympic BMX track) and you’ll be able to take your morning swim in the same pool that Michael ‘the human dolphin’ Phelps won four of his 18 Olympic gold medals. A museum commemorating all three of London’s Olympic Games will also pop up next to the Orbit. Longer term, E20 is also getting 11,000 new homes, plus schools, health centres, libraries and other community-orientated bits-and-bobs. So who knows, maybe by 2020 you’ll be living on Sir Chris Hoy Avenue, nipping out for a pint at the Pendleton’s Legs and reminiscing about the distant memory of the time some Boris got stuck on a zip-line. David Clack
For info, see noordinarypark.co.uk.