GSB News and Notes: Greener 2020 and 2024 Olympics

The Holidays were certainly not a dead time in the Green-Sports world, not by a long shot. This was especially in the world of Olympics bids. Thus we close out the first week of the new year with an Olympics-themed GSB News & Notes.

 

JAPAN PICKS A NEW, GREENER DESIGN FOR 2020 OLYMPIC STADIUM

With 4 1/2 years to go before the Opening Ceremonies at the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, the organizers (Japan Sports Council) have made a switch in the design–and designers–of the Olympic Stadium. The new design, from famed Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, replaces the Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid’s version that was scrapped in July, in part because of rising costs.

Kuma Tokyo 2020

Artist’s rendering of new, plant-infused, lower cost design of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Stadium by architect Kengo Kuma (credit: New York Times)

Hadid Tokyo 2020

It replaces this original design from Zaha Hadid (credit: Fast Company)

 

This switch to the Kuma design will result in a greener structure than was originally planned in at least two key metrics:

  1. Plants and other greenery will be embedded throughout the structure. This is in keeping with Japan’s architectural tradition of using natural materials and making sure there’s harmony between the built and natural environments.
  2. The new design is both lighter and (60,000 square feet) smaller than Hadid’s plan, which means a lower materials carbon footprint. Kuma’s approach costs $1.3 billion–which ain’t cheap–unless it’s compared to Hadid’s $2.0 billion.

 

PRESSURE ON 2024 SUMMER OLYMPIC BID CITIES TO UP SUSTAINABILITY GAMES, PARIS AND LA STEP UP

GreenSportsBlog reported extensively on the stories coming out of the Sustainable Innovation in Sport Summit in Paris, as part of December’s UN Climate Conference (aka COP21, click here for the recap). Sports was also an important topic at another corner of COP21, the Summit of Cities for the Climate (SCC), which was attended by mayors from the world over.

Speaking at SCC, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach made it clear that the city chosen to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games will, per a story by Liam Nelson of InsideTheGames.biz, have to implement a rigorous “carbon management and reduction plan for the event.”

Paris 2024 co-President and three-time Olympic Canoeing medalist Tony Estanguet planted his bid firmly in the climate change fight corner, claiming, as reported by Nelson, that “the scale of the climate change summit illustrates the pressing challenges the world is facing on this matter and sport must play its part.”

Tony Estanguet

Tony Estanguet, co-President of Paris’ bid to host the 2024 Olympics. (Photo credit: Europe1.com)

 

As with the switch in design/designers of the Tokyo Olympic Stadium, going green  for the Paris 2024 bid also means reducing the costs of hosting the Olympics, which have spiraled exponentially over the last 3 decades. Per Estanguet, Paris is making cost control and sustainability core to “the very DNA of our candidacy” by:

  • Incorporating many existing venues, including Stade de France (Opening/Closing Ceremonies, Soccer) and Roland Garros (tennis) into the overall plan.
  • Creating an Olympic Village that will morph into a new “Eco City” with 3,500 innovative, cost-efficient and environmentally-sensitive homes for local residents once the Olympic flame is doused.
  • Situating the Village in a central location so that 84% of athletes will be within 25 minutes of their competition venue, resulting in minimal travel time and reduced emissions.

Los Angeles, also in the running to host the 2024 Games, hit on similar themes with its bid: Its official website boasts that “85% of the venues in our proposed plan exist today (including the LA Coliseum, Staples Center and the Rose Bowl), allowing our city to host a fiscally responsibly Games,” and heralds “the fastest growing mass transit system in the country.”

Budapest and Rome round out the four cities competing for the 2024 Games, with the election set for September, 2017 in Lima, Peru.

 

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