Home    What's new    Search    Contact Us   Sign in / Register
· You are here: Home • Our work • Schools and education » • Teaching resources » • Key Stage 3 resources » • London 2012 »
About us Our work What's on Geography today Press & Media News Join us
Royal Geographical Society (with IBG): the heart of geography
What have the Games got to do with me
Will the local environment be better
Will the Games be green
Will the Games benefit the whole UK
Selling a sustainable world city
London 2012 assessment

London 2012

London 2012 - Will the Games benefit the whole UK

This lesson focuses on whether the Games can be sustainable in terms of environmental impact and in terms of delivering a long lasting legacy benefit at a variety of scales.

Key questions

  • Is the Olympics a national event?
  • How will people from outside the capital travel to the Olympics?
  • How will the rest of Britain benefit?

Key Concepts

  • Scale
  • Human processes
  • Space
  • Interdependence

Is Olympics a National Event?

Almost all of the Olympic events are being staged within London. The challenge for Games organisers is to make the games a national event that people from all over the country can visit and enjoy. Weymouth and Portland Harbour will be the venue for Sailing and Paralympic Sailing and UK wide Football stadia will host Football  

How will people from outside London travel to the Olympics?

The aim of the Games organisers is to make the games 100% accessible by public transport.  The Docklands light railway and London Underground’s East London line are being upgraded to allow easy access to Stratford and the Olympic site. A new Javelin Train service running from Kings Cross St. Pancreas station to Stratford will carry 25 000 people an hour and take seven minutes (the journey currently takes about 30 minutes). This new high speed train link will allow passengers from the Midlands and north of England entering London to be at the Olympic Park within minutes. The Javelin service will also operate between Stratford and the Channel Tunnel rail link at Ebbsfleet in Kent, allowing visitors from mainland Europe to travel directly to the Olympic Park without traveling through central London. A park and ride system will also be in place from outside the M25 bringing in spectators to the Olympic site without causing travel problems.

How will the rest of Britain benefit?

Events such as the Olympics often generate economic benefits at a larger scale than the local or regional through infrastructure improvements and inward investment. This is called the multiplier effect. Tourism throughout the UK and construction industries are set to benefit in the short and long term respectively.  After the Games, four arenas, three 50m swimming pools and the water polo pools will be disassembled and rebuilt in other parts of the UK. All the sports equipment used will also be donated to UK sports clubs and charities. 


  • How will people travel from outside London? PDF | MSWORD
  • Will Britain benefit? PDF | MSWORD
  • The Legacy of the Manchester Commonwealth Games PDFMSWORD
  • Spread it about PDF | MSWORD





While the 2012 Games will largely be located in London, they provide an opportunity for the whole country. Use the Sporting spaces and place interactive to zoom in and out of scales, from local (east London) to regional (London and the south east) and national to see what is going on and where. You should be able to locate the following:

  • Within London there will three main zones:
    • The Olympic Zone - all of the facilities within the two kilometre square Olympic Park in Stratford. This park will be developed on existing waste and industrial land
    • The River Zone - five main venues in the Thames gateway area straddling the river Thames
    • The Central Zone - formed out of all the remaining venues within Greater London
  • Outside Greater London:
    • Three of the venues will be just outside Greater London:
    • Weald Country Park, Essex, for mountain biking
    • Broxbourne, Hertfordshire for canoe/kayak slalom
    • Dorney Lake, near Windsor, for rowing and canoe/kayak flatwater
    • The Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, in Portland Harbour, Dorset on the south coast of England, will be used for the sailing events. It is around 120 miles (192km) from central London
  • The earlier stages of the football competition will be played at football stadia around the country including:
    • Hampden Park in Glasgow
    • Millennium Stadium in Cardiff
    • Old Trafford in Manchester
    • St James' Park in Newcastle
    • Villa Park in Birmingham
    • The new leisure centre at Bangor, County Down, for training

But you may not have to travel too far to join in the communal experience and special atmosphere of Olympic events. The whole of the UK will be linked together by Live Sites - a permanent network of 2012 giant outdoor screens in public squares with a piece of dedicated space in at least 60 major cities and county towns.


Main one

How will people travel to the Olympics from outside the capital?

The Games should boost tourism. Other cities have shown the difference the Games can make. Barcelona's 1992 Games helped propel the city from the16th to the third most popular short break destination in Europe. Sydney's 2000 Games generated an extra 15% in visitor numbers during the event month and 11% more during the year.

Planners believe the UK could see a £2.1 billion boost in tourism income as a result of the 2012 Games.

Up to 180,000 spectators a day will enter the Park to enjoy the Games. How easy is it for people living outside London to get to the Olympic sites?

Download the activity How will people travel from ouside london?

Not only sport

A major cultural programme is being developed alongside the sporting elements of the 2012 Games. Australia saw a 30% increase in visitor participation in cultural activities after a similar exercise linked to the Sydney Games. The Cultural Olympiad will involve theatres and museums; libraries and stately homes; cinema and digital technology. There will be live music, dance and comedy.

The Cultural Olympiad will have three main elements:

  • Strong cultural focus to the main Olympic ceremonies
  • Major international festivals: a World Cultural Festival, the International Shakespeare Festival and an International Museums Exhibition
  • A UK wide cultural festival of community cultural projects

Main two

The economic impact of the London 2012 Olympics on the rest of the UK

Many people hope that the Olympic games will bring economic benefits to London and Britain through creating new jobs and attracting overseas companies to locate in London.  Other cities hosting the Olympic games have had mixed success in attracting investment and jobs to the host city and country.

The Sydney Olympic Games had a positive effect on the economy of the New South Wales and Sydney. The Olympics created jobs and significantly added to the economy of the region. The economic legacy of the Sydney Olympics is estimated to be worth more than $6.5 billion in economic activity over a 12 year period.

The minister for new South Wales explained how this happened during a recent visit to London ‘ The Games revitalised Sydney, creating a new brand image that has seen Sydney consistently rates as one of the most desirable can do cities in the world.

Visit Britain, the tourism authority, has estimated that the games could bring over $3.5 billion to the visitor economy alone.

Download the 'Will Britain benefit?' cards. Sort the cards to decide which factors you think will bring the most important economic benefits to Britain from the Games.

The positive multiplier effect occurs when a large event like the Olympics creates jobs. The Olympic developments will create jobs as they are supplied with services and goods. The building companies constructing the stadium will need to buy concrete, steel and other materials from suppliers.  This will create jobs in the companies that supply these goods.


  • Write a list of ways the London Olympics will cause a positive multiplier effect
  • Write a report for the London Development Authority outlining the economic benefits of hosting the 2012 Olympics



Staging the a large international sporting event means different things for different host cities, in terms of the Olympics, for Barcelona the driving force was regeneration, for Sydney it was about putting itself on the map as a global destination, for Athens it was about redefining itself as a modern European city.

Look at 'The legacy of the Manchester Commonwealth Games' document. This Games in 2002 is widely considered to be a great example of regeneration and economic benefits in the city itself and the wider North West region. Many believe the success of the Manchester Games, its involvement of local communities and legacy was a factor contributing to London's successful 2012 Olympic bid.

According to the Olympics Minister, the ambition for London in 2012 is to ‘regenerate one of the most deprived areas in the UK...and seek to spread the magic of 2012 outside the Olympic Park so that all communities in the UK feel the benefits of hosting the London Games'.

In pairs, use the spread it about download to write a list of ways the government minister with responsibility for the Olympics could make sure people in the North of England, benefit and become involved in the Olympics.

Compare your list to others in your class.

You could think about tourism, companies supplying the games, inward investment from multinationals and getting people involved in the visit the Games.

· Accessibility statement
· Terms and Conditions, and Cookie use
· Contact Webmaster
· Download Adobe Reader
· RGS-IBG is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Bookmark and Share