Legacy after the London Games

09:26, July 28, 2011      

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After the London Olympic Games, the Olympic Park will be transformed into one of the largest urban parks created in Europe for more than 150 years.

The new park will be connected to the tidal Thames Estuary to the south and the Hertfordshire countryside to the north.

The canals and waterways of the River Lea will be cleaned and widened, and the natural floodplains of the area will be restored to provide a new wetland habitat for wildlife for birdwatchers and ecologists to enjoy.

The park will be planted with native species, including oak, ash, willow, birch, hazel, holly, blackthorn and hawthorn, providing a home for wildlife in the middle of the city.

The world-class sports facilities will be adapted for use by sports clubs and the local community as well as elite athletes. New playing fields sitting alongside these facilities will be adapted for community use.

The Athletes' Village, where athletes and officials will stay during the Games, will be converted into homes, many available for key workers such as teachers and nurses.

Together with the new homes in the Athletes' Village, there will be further housing built within the Olympic Park site after the Games. Riverside housing, shops, restaurants and cafes will provide new amenities for the local community.

A range of transport improvements serving the Park are already underway, including an extension to the Docklands Light Railway (DLR), increased capacity on the Jubilee Line and the upgrade of Stratford Regional Station.

The communities surrounding the Park will enjoy access to the open space via a network of canal towpaths, footpaths and cycleways.

Economically, the area will be transformed. Thousands of new jobs will be created in the Park alone. Job and training opportunities will be created for local people, and local residents will be engaged in the planning of the Games and the benefits the project will bring afterwards.

There will also be a wealth of benefits to the wider community, such as cross-city transport improvements in London, more training and job opportunities for the UK and the chance for a vast array of businesses to be involved.

The Games will leave a key legacy of national benefits in culture, sport, volunteering, business and tourism.

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