In the past, the Olympic Movement has not always recognised the importance of a sustainable legacy for host cities. The Olympic village from the 1956 Melbourne Olympics was reported to have become an unattractive slum by the 1990s (Cashman 2006). The development of Albertville in France for the 1992 Winter Olympics was labelled an environmental disaster because of the despoiling of the natural landscape (London East Research Institute 2007).
The 1990s were a turning point for the Olympic Movement. The 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro embedded the term ‘sustainable development’ in global agendas by binding the concepts of social, environmental and economic development together. In 1995, the environment became the ‘third pillar’ of the Olympic Charter (along with sport and culture)
“The starting point of sustainable development is the idea that the long-term preservation of our environment, our habitat as well as its biodiversity and natural resources...will only be possible if combined simultaneously with economic, social and political development, particularly geared to the poorest members of society...in view of its universal nature, the Olympic movement accepts that it has a special responsibility to share in the implementation of this concept of sustainable development”
(IOC reproduced in London East Research Institute 2007)
Editor's comments - [ The Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) and the COI commissioned EdComs to undertake desk research to assess the potential of mega-events, and the Olympic and Paralympic Games in particular, to influence people’s wider attitudes and behaviour across the five legacy commitment areas.
• To make the UK a world-class sporting nation, in terms of elite success, mass participation and school sport.
• To transform the heart of East London.
• To inspire a new generation of young people to take part in local volunteering, cultural and physical activity.
• To make the Olympic Park a blueprint for sustainable living.
• To demonstrate that the UK is a creative, inclusive and welcoming place to live in, to visit and for business.
The purpose of the research was to inform the development of a Legacy Action Plan which will be published later this year. More specifically the objectives for the research were as follows.
• To look at how mega-events can be used to influence attitudes and behaviours in the longer term in relation to:
o participation in sport
o regeneration impact
o involvement of young people in community sporting, cultural and volunteering activities
o sustainable environment, lifestyles and communities (using a wide definition of sustainability that goes beyond the usual environmental issues)
o promotion of the UK.
This involved reviewing evidence from past Olympic and Paralympics, mega-events and policy developments. The range of examples looked at included: world cups for specific sports (cricket, football and rugby), cultural activities, campaigning events (such as Live8, Live Earth and Make Poverty History) and model sustainable communities. Research into potential legacy projects for London 2012 was also explored, although there was relatively little research to be found in this area. ] Reference this?Cryer, J. (Year). This page title in italics. Retrieved date, from <this page's full URL>
In the text: Cryer (year)
Reference : EdComs. (2007). London 2012 legacy research: final report. London: DCMS
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