Sustainability Knowledge Transfer to the Rio 2016 Olympics

By Jo Dobson

Dan, Jo and Ed have just returned from a successful trip to Rio, where they have been passing the baton of knowledge from the sustainable planning, design and construction of the London Olympic Park, to Rio 2016. This work builds on the research we have been doing under the Olympic Park Sustainability Learning Legacy Project.

Rio de Janeiro will be hosting the Olympic Games in 2016, and they have an ambition to build on what London has achieved, by hosting the greenest games ever. The city will be undergoing rapid growth and development over the next few years, as investment pours in. Rio has a fantastic opportunity to redefine how it can deliver large scale projects, in a resource efficient manner that enhance and protect the environment, and deliver social development.

To continue the tradition of not just passing on the Olympic torch, but also the knowledge of Olympic planning and delivery, the UK and Brazilian Governments have a series of agreements in place. As part of this, Dan and Jo have been appointed to transfer sustainability knowledge from London 2012 to Rio 2016. They are also providing support to planners across Federal, State and Municipal Government in the development of their sustainable development framework.

The first phase of this exciting project was an expedition to Rio in February to meet key stakeholders and visit the four Olympic Zones, to acquire a clear understanding about their baseline conditions, plans, opportunities and constraints, and to begin transferring lessons learnt from London 2012. A Brazilian delegation from the three levels of Government then came on a technical mission to London in March, to visit the London Olympic park and hear about what was delivered, and how, from those involved. The final phase of this work was another trip to Rio, this time with Ed McCann and representatives from the ODA too, where we held a series of knowledge transfer workshops with the Brazilian delegation. The three phases of work have been incredibly successful and have helped Rio out of the starting blocks.

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