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LEGACY OR FALLACY ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF THE OLYMPIC GAMES

B. Dendura
Wednesday 19 December 2018 by Libadmin2018

ABSTRACT

Each of the national committees organising the Games is required to provide stadiums and related infrastructure capable to accommodate hundreds of thousands of spectators within a short, 40-day period of time in order to carry out the Olympic Game. At the same time, the International Olympic Committee calls for providing a complete buildings that are sustainable, energy-saving, with the use of energy from renewable sources (ie. solar-, wind-, geothermal energy, etc), building skins designed to eliminate thermal loss, and with its impact on the natural environment brought to absolute minimum. These two requirements seem to be impossible to combine. The following article reviews the original project brief and the results of completed investment of the four recent Games (London 2012, Sochi 2014, Rio de Janeiro 2016 and Pyeongchang 2018), all based on the official reports provided by the organisers, scientific research and satellite photos that allow to assess the extent of the investment’s impact on the environment. This analysis also describes to what extent the ideas of sustainable design have been implemented for Olympic investments and what measures were taken to ensure that these facilities will find future use after the Games are over. The scale of the Olympic Games makes it impossible to organise them in the manner that is neutral to the environment, for the transport of the participants and spectators to the location of the Games itself has already a huge impact on the environment, not mentioning the construction process. Every more often however, the organisers decide to use temporary building structures or structures that can be later easily rebuild and converted in terms of function and scale to suit local communities. This process may improve a bit perceived image of the modern Olympic movement, which is very often associated with billions spent on ‘white elephant’ investments and a lost opportunity for sustainable development in the area. This text may become one of the information sources for the potential or future Olympic Games’ organisers – the Olympic movement, whose future seems to be however unthreatened.

Keywords: Architecture, Olympics, Environment, Impact, Legacy


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