Turning wasteland into gold

It only feels like yesterday doesn’t it? Usain Bolt decides to tear a field of world-class athletes into utter shreds over 100m in Beijing and he’s just managed to do it again in London. Don’t be surprised if they’re still chewing on his dust right now www.london2012.com.

Planning, organisation, construction – those in the know say it takes 15 plus years to do the world’s greatest spectacle justice. Much of which is thrown at the Olympic village.

Gracing a 2.5 square km plot of industrial wasteland in the Lower Lea Valley of East London, the Olympic Village was home to most of the action. The main stadium, aquatic centre, velodrome, basketball arena and accommodation that sort of thing. And connecting the 17,000 athletes/officials with all these venues was the Olympic Park Loop Road.

But it was not just a matter of sticking up the buildings as quickly as possible. A world-class site can never be labelled that if it gives the environment a pummelling can it? So chins were rubbed and a lot of thought went into what to do with the site after the games had finished and all of the athletes had returned home. Plans at the moment are going to see the area renamed as the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, with up to 8,000 new homes, new schools, community spaces and health centres. Planning applications for the rest of the Park are still a hot topic. No stone left unturned seems the right thing to say here.

The GLA website has more info on the future of the Olympic Park: london.gov.uk/

The people needed to make the games a success included:

Each apartment for the athletes and officials had internet access and wireless technology.

A new tri-generation power plant supplied electricity, heating and cooling during the games. Water and rubbish were recycled during and after the Games.

The area’s previously neglected waterways were made into wetlands for wildlife and native plants were replanted.