Presentation on theme: "The Olympics and sustainable urban regeneration"— Presentation transcript:
1 The Olympics and sustainable urban regeneration Bob DigbyUniversity College SchoolLondon
2 IntroductionSeveral Olympic bids now have been used to regenerate urban areas. Barcelona began the process in the mid-1980s, and now London’s vision for 2012 is the regeneration of one of the poorest parts of the UK.Developments like this are –Usually large-scaleDeveloped centrally by governments with a mix of privatecapital and government investment.Presented as projects for environmental remediation(e.g. Sydney 2000) or socio-economic regeneration(e.g. London 2012).
3 But are such ‘urban flagship’ developments sustainable? Properly analysed, they can us to understand how and why urban developments might be considered ‘sustainable’ or not.This presentation asks whether these kinds of regeneration are –successful; i.e. do they achieve what they set out toachieve?truly representative of what we mean by‘sustainability’?
5 This is what the IOC say ….. their criteria for sustainable developmentThe Olympics should provide …“sustainable environmental legacies, such asrehabilitated and revitalized sites,increased environmental awareness,improved environmental policies and practices,further encouragement and facilitation of strongenvironmental actions, technology and productdevelopment in a city, country and beyond, through theeducational value of good example.”Source IOC website (2005) Mission Statement
6 To be successful, the Olympics should have According to the IOC:To be successful, the Olympics should have‘environmental protection and, more importantly, sustainability’ as prime elements of Games planning and operations.‘positive legacies’ that last well beyond the Olympics themselvesSource IOC website (2005) Mission Statement
7 The Olympics: a major commitment There are 7 years from the time a city is awarded the Olympics in which to prepareSchedules are tight and difficult to meet – e.g Athens OlympicsThe Olympics involve host cities in massive investment and expense; costs are substantial, and implications great, e.g. for mass tourism and accommodation
8 The Olympics - a major undertaking E.g. The 16 days of the London 2012 Games will involve -athletes in 300 events, with coaches & officials, attended by other members of the Olympic community.Over 7000 sponsors.In the Paralympics alone, 4000 athletes and 2500 officials, equivalent to Manchester’s Commonwealth Games in 2003.newspaper, radio, TV, & internet journalists.Over 9 million tickets in total, and 500,000 spectators a day at events in and around Londonoperational personnel, of whom will be volunteers, e.g. as stewards, marshals, and drivers.
9 So – the economic agenda is strong and powerful Host cities have to be able to balance budgets; huge costs versus the revenue benefits.Costse.g. Land purchase, Construction of stadia, and transport infrastructure, and of hosting the Games themselves (e.g. security)BenefitsDirect – Revenue from ticket sales, TV rights, and company sponsorships e.g. to supply drinks or food.Indirect – Land values after re-developmentHowever, other indirect benefits may help make a profit:E.g. tourist spending – in hotels, restaurants, VAT etc
15 Homebush Bay; its industrial history Newington in the site of a former armaments depot and toxic waste dump, described by a firm of US consultants in the early 1990s as containing “the worst contamination ever seen”.
17 Sydney’s bid was all about clean-up – or remediation – of a previously contaminated industrial site. One firm ofUS consultants described Homebush Bay in the early 1990sas ‘the most contaminated site in the southern hemisphere’Greenpeace emphasised a number of aspects of ‘Green’or sustainable – development when they put together thewinning bid for the 2000 Olympics.Their criteria that they used are shown in the next slide.These criteria – they believe – form the basis of any‘green’ development.
18 The Greenpeace view of sustainability for Sydney’s 2000 OlympicsSubmitted as part of a competitive design bid byGreenpeace Australia for the world’s first ‘Green Games’.
19 So – how well did Sydney match up to its intentions? The next slides consider some of the environmental,economic and social issues.Then you can decide for yourself!Were Sydney’s ‘Green’ principles kept to?
20 Before that – you have to do some research into 3 groups! Environmental groupType in ‘Homebush Bay clean up’ into Google and follow the links –especially the Greenpeace linkandEconomic group:Type in ‘economic impacts Sydney Olympics’ into Google and followthe linksSocial group:Type in ‘social impacts Sydney Olympics’ into Google and followResearch these web links and feed back
21 How well did Sydney match up? Environmental criteriaHow well did Sydney match up?Construction should be on ‘brownfield’, and not ‘greenfield’ sites.Homebush Bay was an industrial area, and many past industries had closed. Much of the land was derelict in But?Existing facilities should be used or adapted, rather than build from scratchBuilding foundations were recycled concrete and masonry from the demolition of an old abattoir on the site. During the construction of Sydney showground, 95% of waste was recycled. But?Building and design should be environmentally friendlyMostly, non-toxic materials were used, e.g. natural fibre insulation, non-toxic paints, glues, varnishes, polishes, solvents and cleaning products. CFCs, HFC and HCFC-free coolants were banned, as well as chlorine-based products such as PVC and bleached paper. Building materials were selected for their insulation, ventilation, and recyclability; air-conditioning was avoided. But?There should be minimal impacts of sites and events on nearby residentsAll sports and the Village were located on one site. Barcelona’s Olympics brought the city to a standstill, the result of coaches and athletes travelling to venues. In Sydney, most amenities and accommodation were on site. But?Waste should be minimised, and recycling should occur wherever possibleRenewable sources of energy were used, with high-efficiency lighting systems, and control systems to minimise energy usage. Pool water was ozone-filtered to reduce chlorine. Half the water on parts of the site were storm- or recycled water, and used for flushing toilets or irrigating landscaped areas. But?Native ecosystems, fauna or flora should be protected or re-habilitatedThe edge of Homebush Bay is mangrove and salt-marsh. Mangrove and salt-marsh environments near Olympic Park were protected. Mangroves were re-planted in some of the contaminated land – and helped to filter pollutants naturally. But?Olympics should be reached by public transport; car usage should be minimisedA new rail link was built to Olympic Park, and a new ferry terminal at Homebush Bay. Admission tickets included the price of public transport. Cars were banned except for Olympics officials and some workers. But?
23 How well did Sydney match up? It had important economic impacts - 1Source: PriceWaterhouseCoopers (2001 Evaluation)
24 How well did Sydney match up? It had important economic impacts - 2Source: PriceWaterhouseCoopers (2001 Evaluation)
25 Sydney’s Olympics therefore did three things for ‘sustainable development’The Olympics showed that it was possible to remediate pollutedbrownfield sites as part of the regeneration processThey showed that it was possible to stick to sustainable principlesand to make money at the same time; Sydney’s were among thevery few Olympics to make a profitc) Urban Development could stick to – and develop further –sustainable principles such as the use of recyclable water,use of non-toxic building materials etc. without compromisinganyone’s standard of living
27 Coca Cola and McDonald’s were two of Sydney’s biggest sponsors But it wasn’tproblem-free!Coca Cola and McDonald’s were two of Sydney’s biggest sponsors
28 And what about ‘social’ benefits? 1 Throughout recent Olympics, social issues have tendedto be ignoredThere is clear evidence that socially vulnerable and lowerincome groups tend to suffer in the run-up to theOlympics.The cost of the Homebush Bay clean up forced the saleof the Olympic Village housing at market rates, ratherthan creating a pool of affordable housing, as initiallyplanned.Rent increases in the suburbs closest to the OlympicPark in Sydney were higher than elsewhere, andboarding house accommodation (used in Australia for thosewho need secure accommodation) was re-vamped toaccommodate paying backpackers instead of people who arenormally housed there.
30 So in judging socially sustainable principles, decide whether the following principles are applied:Do the lowest paid have the same rights of access andopportunities as the rest of the population?2 Have local communities been involved in deciding what happensin major ‘flagship’ schemes?Will the least well off be able to benefit from, and notbe sidelined by, benefits of flagship schemes?Have budgets for health and education been spent as theyshould have been and not been diverted into the Olympics?
31 To conclude!In 2000, Greenpeace gave Sydney just 5 out of 10for the way that it adhered its sustainable principlesWhat do you think?What would you give?Try the exercises and see how well Sydney scores