Largely catalysed by hosting the XXX Summer Olympic Games, East London is currently experiencing significant urban regeneration at a rate not seen since the period of post-war reconstruction. In doing so, a series of processes that serve to heighten the intensity of cameras in this already saturated video surveillance landscape are occurring. At the same time, these developments, whilst affecting East London, demonstrate a number of key issues, debates and crises germane to the dissemination and operation of video surveillance across the UK as a whole. These include the intensification and cohesion of video surveillance networks; the role of CCTV in urban regeneration schemes; tensions between disparate applications of CCTV and aspirations for a coherent regulatory framework; and, crucially, how CCTV can be justified at a time of severe economic crisis. The paper explores these issues via the identification and analysis of three broad processes operating in East London: the ‘additionality’ of Olympic-related surveillance measures; the centripetal surveillance-pull of Olympic-related regeneration programmes; and the co-option and integration of extant CCTV facilities. The strong emphasis on surveillant economies of scale and the integration of existing surveillance infrastructures invite reflection on post-Foucauldian theorisations of networked ‘societies of control’.
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