What Happens to Obsolete Olympic Parks After the Games?

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Years of planning and tons of money are invested in the chosen host cities, but what happens after the Olympics?  Many Olympic Parks are re-purposed into lively attractions, while others are left to decay with little interest.

The Good with the Bad:  The 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.  Here, the Olympic Water Cube now holds China’s largest indoor water park and the Bird’s Nest building is still used for sports and cultural events.  However, many of the other stadiums are now unused.

Athens hosted the 2004 Olympic Games, and while the city advanced with a new subway system and airport, much of its Olympic Park has been abandoned and now lies as modern ruins.  The sad economic state is not helping matters either, of course.

A perilous bobsled track stands as an eery remnant of the 1984 games in Sarajevo, Bosnia, despite much of the park being bombed by Serbian forces.

Thankfully, some Olympic Parks have fared better:

Sydney, Australia has implemented a successful adaptive reuse of its Park after the 2000 Olympics took place, by creating a vibrant live, work, play and learn environment.

The 1996 Atlanta, Georgia Olympic Park is now a popular public plaza known as Centennial Olympic Park.

In 1992, Barcelona revamped the city into a major tourist attraction, with newly created beaches and iconic architecture, that still attracts crowds.

Most recently, the Olympic Park that housed the 2012 games in London, reopened this month as the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.  This part of the park will focus on wildlife, biodiversity and ecology, perhaps in an attempt to undo the damage done to Bully Fen Nature Reserve upon the original construction of the Olympic Park.  The good news, supposedly, is that the project aims to be sustainable on many levels.  New housing, parkland, arts & cultural events, as well as sports & entertainment facilities, will even bring thousands of jobs to the area.

My only hope is that Rio de Janeiro respects its natural environment enough to work around it, instead of over it, and has a plan of action for the reuse of its Olympic Park afterwards.




Tag(s): Events, Green Building, Recycled or Reclaimed Materials


One Response to “What Happens to Obsolete Olympic Parks After the Games?”

  1. Hugo at Ok Hire forklifts on July 19th, 2013 8:37 am

    I love this sort of blog, the what happened next angle never gets old and some of the parks have really interesting legacy uses.

    We tried to get some work directly from the Olympic committee when the Games were given to London and unfortunately failed. Fortunately, the Games generated lots of businesses indirectly and now we almost never have our hireable forklifts sitting idle for any significant length of time.

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