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.
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:
- Minerals surveyor devising ways to clean the ground safely and cost effectively
- Environmental health officer advising on the use and storage of dangerous materials
- Engineering or land surveyors mapping out the site for future building plans
- Architects designing fantastic new buildings
- Quantity surveyors working out the materials and time frame needed to complete the project
- Civil and structural engineers ensuring the building designs are safe
- Environmental psychologists consulting on issues of how the built environment can manipulate crowd behaviour and crime prevention
- Public relations officer keeping the public up to date with the latest news and events
Each apartment for the athletes and officials had internet access and wireless technology.
- Electricians installing the network and power cables
- Network managers designing and maintaining a reliable network for the site
A new tri-generation power plant supplied electricity, heating and cooling during the games. Water and rubbish were recycled during and after the Games.
- Energy engineers designing and constructing the new power plants needed to supply the Games
- Waste management officers managing the collection and recycling of the waste produced during the Games
The area’s previously neglected waterways were made into wetlands for wildlife and native plants were replanted.