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The Olympic Strategic Forum 2012

Aug 17, 2007
In 2005, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) awarded London the 2012 Summer Olympic Games; as part of the bid proposal, the London Olympics promised significant upgrades to the stadiums and facilities in London for holding the Olympiad, all of which will cost taxpayer monies to complete.

The process of turning these promises into actual construction for the Olympics is the job of the Olympic Strategic Forum for Construction 2012, which is dedicated to coordinating the efforts of Government and contractors to build a state of the arts athletic facility which will reflect well on the United Kingdom and London throughout the 2012 Games and be, in the words of Olympics minister Tessa Jowell, the pride of the UK for a generation.

Towards that aim of coordination, the Strategic Forum for Construction is working heavily with both Government and construction clients on all phases of the project. The aim is to leverage the most out of existing proposals and construction and management techniques, rather than doing the traditional high profile project of reinvention of the wheel and several firms in the UK have considerable experience with building stadiums, hotels, and facilities, and that expertise should be utilized to the utmost to make sure that the 2012 Olympic Games have an inspiring venue that reflects well on London, and comes in on time and under budget, while remaining usable for a generation afterwards. London, in particular, wants to avoid the issues that plagued the cities of Los Angeles and Atlanta in the United States, where the high costs of maintaining and renovating the facilities after the 1984 and 1996 games effectively meant the Olympic facilities were abandoned.

Towards that aim, the Strategic Forum is working on the proposals not just from a cost-accounting perspective, but from a land use and municipal needs perspective. Attention is being put towards accessibility by mass transit, so that when the Games have moved on, the facilities are still of use to the City of London. Effort is being put into traffic flow management, so that when the Games are in session, the city doesn't come to a grinding halt, as happened in Atlanta and Athens. This focus on attendees and the spectator experience is critical for the success of the London 2012 games, and puts a great premium on attendee and participant health and safety, including access to adequate medical facilities in the case of emergencies, ambulance access ways and more.

The ultimate aim of this process is to create a modern sporting facility that can be used, and be a source of civic pride for generations. It's meant to be state of the art, sustainable, and low maintenance, while using best construction and financial practices to keep it from ballooning significantly over budget. To make these promises turn to reality, the Strategic Forum Construction 2012 planning committee have issued a set of Program Commitments, designed to provide guidance to all contractors at all levels of the project and planning process. Current estimates of the total project cost for the London Olympic Park are in excess of 9 billion pounds, and it's hoped that the project will come in under budget.
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