It was left to Charles Jencks to point out that it was Barcelona in 1992 that set the pattern for the modern Olympic city (that is, to say, one that wins a bid);
the Games are seen as a tool for regeneration and accelerated change. While the speakers described their own subject areas well enough, there was little of the promised debate on whether this is what really happens. The only contentious note came from Charlotte Robinson, the director of Spacestudios, which leases accommodation for artists in London's East End. She said that it was important to remember that there is a thriving community in the area. 'The current feeling is that they are being ignored.
Already businesses are moving away because of the uncertainty and the prospect of the disruption of construction.' Zaero-Polo's polished political response neither denied nor accepted Robinson's statement, but gave the impression that something was being done. Hadid was more robust: 'There is no point in regeneration if these places stay exactly the same. The whole point of inserting new activities is to improve their well-being.' The debate never quite took off, and, as the assembled biennalistas withdrew to the magnificent Cini Foundation gardens for a glass or two of Prosecco, they were little wiser as to whether, should London win the Olympic bid on 6 July next year, the capital will be boosted or busted.