The olympics, the 2012 version of which is steadily taking shape near to me in east london, seems a very funny thing from a design point of view. Its a regular event requiring more or less the same infrastructure every four years yet we never re-use anything - we just leave expensive under-used stadia dotted around in the name of 'regeneration'. Why "spending half a billion pounds to end up with a second-rate athletics stadium marooned in yuppy housing developments in the Lower Lea Valley" (Gordon MacLaren http://www.asd-realtime.org/2007/11/17/spectacle/ ) is regeneration beats me. The stadium we are getting is at least modest but it is still commercially unsustainable and hasn't been designed with a shared end-user in mind like the commonwealth games stadium in manchester. The 'legacy' of the stadium seems to be a like-for-like replacement of the aethletics facility at crystal palace.
Why does the olympics have to move around? Surely only in terms of it as a financial spectacle. It would be just as good if it was in Greece every year and maybe it would even build up more character. Alternatively why haven't we designed a reusable stadium that could be reassembled in different cities.? Or a giant olympic ship..?
There seems something wrong with the amount of waste this event creates by starting from scratch every 4 years.