The design of an urban area chosen to host a mega-event such as the Summer Olympics begs fundamental questions of scale, process and context. Not least since this is an international event whose physical impact is highly localised, where the tension between ?permanent? architecture, landscape and the temporal is being played out over an extended period of time. This paper covers the period from 2003 when the UK bid for the 2012 Games, followed by its award in 2005, from when the construction, compulsory land purchase and clean-up exercise began in earnest. Writing in the initial post-event legacy stage of this major placemaking project means that assessing any notions of sustainability and regeneration ? and the role of design therein ? is necessarliy provisional. Current visions and plans produced by the agencies responsible for transforming this event site into an established community project forward until 2030 so, in regeneration terms, a twenty-five year process is under way.