Days of the future past

October 31, 2009   |   Posted by Shaun McCarthy

It is 31st October 2009, and exactly 1,000 days to the opening ceremony for London 2012 and time to pause for reflection. After 3 years of the Commission, numerous reports, articles, meetings, discussions and not insignificant battles, exactly what do I expect it to be like in 1,000 days time? I expect viewers on TV to see things differently. The iconic Olympic flame will come from a more renewable fuel if they are successful. As the aerial cameras pick up the north side of the park, I hope they will pick up a 2 megawatt wind turbine. I expect the opening ceremony to feature sustainability without making us all feel guilty about having a good time. I expect to see pictures of volunteers and staff of all ages, all abilities and all colours and ethnic backgrounds. I expect visitors to feel different. When they arrive at any Olympic venue (not just the Park), the place needs to “feel” sustainable. This may be from the green space they enter, the sustainable features they see such as local renewable energy, the information they receive about things like segregating their waste, or the welcome they receive from East London’s diverse and multi-cultural local …

Folk on the water

October 15, 2009   |   Posted by Shaun McCarthy

RESIZED Barcelona3- FREE - Credit Shaun McCarthy

Barcelona hosted the 1992 Olympics and is generally held to be the prime example of using the Games to create a lasting legacy for the city. I was fortunate to take a short holiday there recently so I was able to check it out. The Olympic Park was constructed in the Montjuic area of the city, a big hill on the west side comprising mostly parkland and formal gardens. The area has a grisly history, having been the Jewish quarter of the city and site of Franco’s concentration camps after the Spanish Civil War. The main Olympic stadium was constructed …