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NEW YORK CITY-The International Olympic Committee has selected London to be the host city for the 2012 Olympic Games. Paris was the runner-up, followed by Madrid, New York City and Moscow.

“For the Olympic Games of 2012, the Olympic Movement has received candidatures from five prestigious cities, all perfectly capable of organizing Games of the highest quality,” said IOC president Jacques Rogge.

Earlier this year, at Mipim, London Mayor Ken Livingstone unveiled a 10-billion-pound ($19.3-billion) infrastructure improvement package for the city. “We want to win the bid,” he stated, “but this funding is there for future potential. The Olympics are an add-on to what we would have done in London anyway.” Projects included additional rail lines to unify the sprawl and a continuation of affordable and market-rate housing among other initiatives. Multiplex, Stanhope, Westfield and LCR agreed on terms with the London Development Agency to build the Olympic Village and Olympic International Zone in Stratford City. The village will provide accommodation for 17,000 athletes and support teams, which would be transformed into 2,300 homes following the games.

A team led by EDAW, in partnership with HOK Sport, Foreign Office Architects, and Allies and Morrison serves as the master plan architect. The master plan provided the design framework needed to transform 1,500 acres in one of the poorest parts of the UK. The Lower Lea Valley runs north south from Stratford to Canary Wharf, although situated just three miles from Central London. Research suggests that regeneration of the area could potentially create around 40,000 new jobs, 30,000 new homes and 1,000 new businesses.

The London Development Agency started land assembly and remediation program. It has already purchased key sites in the Lower Lea Valley including the purchase of the Hackney Stadium site.

The bid submitted by Paris included a concept consisting of two major clusters close to the Olympic Village, encompassing 17 competition venues. Approximately 77% of athletes would compete at venues within 10 minutes of the Olympic Village. In its evaluation of the city’s bid, the IOC wrote, “With the planned urban development and the strong support for environmental responsibility and accessibility at the highest level across all Olympic projects, the Olympic Games legacy should be significant.” The Olympic Village would provide a new housing opportunity for inner Paris through the regeneration of a partly disused railyard.

In June 2001, New York City, which lost in the second round, submitted an official bid to the US Olympic Committee. Others in the running at that time included San Francisco, Houston and Washington, DC. The USOC subsequently chose New York and San Francisco as the two US finalists before selecting New York as the US nominee. The biggest and most critical elements of the plan were infrastructure and facilities development. Facilities in each of the boroughs were proposed. The idea of constructing a stadium on the West Side was addressed. When that plan was defeated recently, the city revised its bid and chose instead to use a revamped Shea Stadium in Queens as the centerpiece.

Plans called for the extension the No. 7 subway line subway to 33rd Street and 11th Avenue. Another planned site was the $37-million development of a world-class track and field center on Randall’s Island, built on the former site of the antiquated Downing Stadium, the site of Olympic Trials in the 1920′s and 1991.

The Olympic Village was proposed for Queens West on the East River. The proposal included a total of 4,400 apartments. The organization working on New York’s bid, NYC2012, predicted $11.3 billion would be generated for the city. Renovations to parks and other facilities would total $1.2 billion.

And hosting the Olympic Games can bring huge long-term benefits, according to a 2001 report released by Jones Lang LaSalle. The report, ‘Reaching Beyond the Gold’ examined the legacies of four recent Olympic hosts–Seoul in 1988, Barcelona in 1992, Atlanta in 1996 and Sydney in 2000. Authors of the report said that in addition to financial benefits, the cities also benefit from an “urban regeneration.” Long-term benefits include improved infrastructure and housing.

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