Posted on 10/11/2013
London Olympic Park: the velodrome and the temporary basketball arena (Source: Katie Willis)
On Tuesday 5th November 2013 Sean McCarthy OBE, former chair of the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012 gave the Annual RHUL Sustainability Lecture. In a highly entertaining and insightful lecture, Sean provided the audience with his interpretation of how and why the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics have been seen as the most sustainable Games ever. He also indicated areas where plans did not come to fruition and where performance could have been greatly improved. For the 2012 Games, sustainability was part of the bid so was embedded in planning from the start and had significant support. It was also very clear that 'sustainability' was seen as more than the natural environment e.g. energy use and recycling, but also included social dimensions such as job creation, working conditions, community involvement and regeneration. A key legacy in relation to sustainability has been the development of knowledge which can be shared with others, not just in relation to mega-events like the Olympics, but in a wide range of infrastructure and building projects.
The lecture was co-organised by the Centre for Research into Sustainability (CRIS) and the Politics, Development and Sustainability (PDS) group in Geography. A podcast of the lecture can be downloaded if you follow this link.
The lecture also provided an opportunity to publicise the hosting of the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012 website by CRIS. This website is a fantastic archive of the planning and activities around sustainability at the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. While RHUL staff and students are currently discussing research plans drawing on this web archive, the website is also available for all interested researchers to use.