Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in the city of London was the subject of much controversy prior to the London Olympics in 2012. Since the end of the games in September, the whole area has been shut off as many of the stadiums have been dismantled and the offices and athletes' villages transformed into family homes and new, swish residences.
But finally, the first stage of a phased re-opening of the park will take place in July 2013, with a fun-packed summer festival weekend. The festival will be full of food, theatre, sport, music and family fun. It's sure to be a celebration of the newly named Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, also nicknamed "No Ordinary Park."
Wildflower meadows surround the Olympic site — Photo courtesy of Williamsdb
The first venue to open will be the rust-colored basketball court near Lea Valley, with a gradual unveiling of wild flower meadows, waterways and new housing through 2015.
By August 2013, London will have its very own "East Village" to compete with New York, on the site of the athletes' village buildings from 2012.
The next big opening will be in April 2014, when the waterways and waterfront that criss-cross the park area will be unveiled. They will link the whole park. This change will make it easier to cycle through from east to west and north to south without taking massive detours.
Water criss-crosses the Olympic site — Photo courtesy of Williamsdb
By 2015, the stadium will host the Rugby World Cup. By 2016, it will be permanent home to one of London's most historic football clubs, West Ham United, colloquially known as "The Hammers."
Once London's railway Crossrail comes into force in 2017 and 2018, this part of London will have fast links to the center and beyond, simultaneously creating green havens as well as a super fast connection to the rest of the country and the rest of the continent, too.
An oasis of green in London's East End — Photo courtesy of Williamsdb