When former prime-minister Tony Blair promised a greener Olympic Games in the summer of 2012, a lot of people were sceptical about the follow-through of such a mandate. Looking at the progress of the construction efforts, a bigger, beautiful and more sustainable sporting event is definitely in the mix for London this year. The head of the UK branch of the environmental organisation Greenpeace, John Sauven, has been very impressed by the eco-friendly infrastructure being developed for the occasion.
Sauven has acknowledged the difficulty of making a project, as short-term as the Olympics, sustainable, citing the 2004 Athens games as a great example of wasted facilities once the famed torch had been extinguished. With a bit of forward-thinking from individuals in Dickies work trousers however, London has proved that it’s all in the arrangement. The London 2012 summer Olympics is already a vast improvement to Athens.
Sustainable Improvements of the 2012 summer Olympics
- Regeneration: The Olympic park was a fairly polluted industrial site before the development team got their hands on it. Aside from the Dickies boots workers using low-carbon construction materials, some two million tonnes of cleaned up soil was recycled while rain water was stored and re-used. Other examples of regeneration for the 2012 summer Olympics include a dirty hole in the Lower Lea Valley that has been transformed into a biodiversity spot.
- Public Transport and Housing: A tremendous opportunity to improve daily utilised infrastructure, the poorer areas of London will benefit from the wide-scale installation of the modern transport system and converted Olympics housing facilities.
- Closing Projects: The 2012 summer Olympics board has made ambitious plans to reconvert the games park site into a public Queen Elizabeth Olympic park by 2014. Consisting of 11,000 new homes, 11 schools and nurseries, this endeavour will create thousands of jobs in an attempt to support economic recovery.
Staring at the logo of the 2012 summer Olympics as its date draws closer, the slow but sure move toward a carbon neutral event with an array of sustainable possibilities proves that Tony Blair’s controversial promise of a cleaner greener Olympics is finally being realised one step at a time.