Poor Rio, Lucky Chicago

Not everyone, however, is convinced that preparing for a 17-day sports event is the best way to undertake socially responsible urban planning. Mr. Garvin himself invokes “the inherent conflicts between great urbanism and a functional Olympic plan.”

This is from “Is Rio’s Win Chicago’s Gain?” by Julie V. Iovine.

The whole thing is worth reading.

Another highlight:

For the 2012 London Games, it is guessed that the city is already $20 billion in the hole with no obvious future revenue stream to pay off the debt if venues are taken down.

Interestingly, Iovine mentions nothing about the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics, which were carried out with a lot of existing facilities and, therefore, led to no debt. At least that’s what Wikipedia says and it was widely reported at the time. You remember the 1984 Summer Olympics, right? Those were the ones that Michelle Obama, at age 20, watched while sitting on her father’s lap.