The Greenest City on Earth


In 2012, London, the capital of the United Kingdom (UK), hosted the Olympics. The city recognized the opportunity to use one of the world’s greatest sporting events to perform a positive change. London laid the foundation for sustainable lifestyle by taking quick, yet serious, steps towards becoming the world’s greenest city. It set new standards that create positive, long-term change for the environment and communities all the same.

For London 2012, “sustainability” is far more than being “green”. It is deep-rooted into the way of thinking, planning, building, working, buying, and even playing, socializing and traveling. The Games was a catalyst for change, for the regeneration and improvement of the quality of life in the UK. By 2025, London has committed to reduce carbon emissions by 60%. This will not happen naturally; it can only occur with years of determination and hard work.

As sustainability was embedded in the 2012 Games proposal, decisions have been made to use venues already existing in the UK where possible, to rely on permanent structures that will have long-term uses after the Games, with as little temporary structures as possible.

Before working on the Olympic Park site, a report entitled the Environment Statement was produced, focusing on the significant effects of the project on the environment and the necessary measures to manage them. The report considered issues such as air quality, noise, ecology, water quality, flooding and transport.

Before and during construction, measures have been taken to reduce the possible negative effects on the environment and the local community. This includes minimizing noise and dust, protecting waterways from the effects of construction, as well as protecting wildlife by relocating animals and birds to new habitats so they are not affected by construction; these will be returned to the area after construction ends.

And the Journey Continues

Not only does London think of achieving a successful event; the mission does not simply end there. Since the successful attempt for the London 2012 Games, continual improvement will help transform London to be one of the most vibrant and sustainable cities.


*The original article was published in the PSC Newsletter, 2nd School Semester 2011/2012.

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