The race to host the Olympics is shaping up to be a race to the smartest city. In order to catch the eye of the Olympic committee cities have to become smarter – more efficient, greener and more sustainable. This series explores different initiatives proposed by various cities vying for the 2016 Olympic bid. Be sure to look for upcoming posts on Tokyo, Madrid and Rio de Janeiro.
As one of the cities bidding for this honor, Chicago has unveiled its Blue-Green Games concept. This idea is based around five themes for improvement, which include water management, clean energy, recycling, greenspace and sustainability. The goal is to create conditions that allow the athletes to compete at the highest levels while reducing the carbon footprint the Games would leave on the city.
If the 2016 Olympic games do come to Chicago, there will be a great demand for energy. To help support the goal of producing reusable, clean energy, a modular tile flooring system will be implemented. A unique sub-floor system will use blocks that depress and slip when stepped on. The moving blocks create electricity to power a variety of lights, machinery and signage. This floor system will be used in high-volume areas, such as the sporting venues and transportation hubs. The goal is to have all electricity for the Games operations come from renewable-energy sources.
Another goal is to ensure that wildlife is not negatively impacted by the games. For the Olympic tennis venue, the existing parking lot would be located further away from the Jarvis Bird Sanctuary, so the disruption to the birds is minimal. Also, many new green spaces would be established, ranging from rooftop gardens to parks to urban community gardens.
Facilities such as stadiums will be needed to house the games, and that
requires creating seats. Rather than build seating that will be thrown out after the event, temporary seating will be converted into wheelchairs. These will be donated to individuals in need in developing countries. This will reduce waste and allow thousands of wheelchairs to be donated. The Blue-Green Games initiative would not only make Chicago green and sustainable, but also a socially responsible citizen of the world. It’s a bold plan and if all goes accordingly it should greatly improve the quality of life in the city. Then again without enough backing and contribution the initiative could fall flat on its face.
So hey Chicagoans, what do you think? Will these plans catch the eye of the Olympic committee? Are you from another city that is competing against Chicago for the Olympic bid? Let us know how your city will be smarter than Chicago.
For more information check out the Chicago 2016 website.