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The Brisbane Olympics are a leap into an unknowable future

David Rowe writes in The Conversation (23.7.21) about Brisbane's winning bid to host the 2032 Olympic Games. The author reminds that, while every host nation claims its Games will be different and better, it will take decades to get a full accounting of the legacy for Brisbane and Southeast Queensland.

'There'll be two types of Australian high jump in Tokyo this month. The first, most likely scripted, was Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk's front row leap after Brisbane was awarded the right to host the 2032 Olympics. The second will be in response to Australia winning any medals.

'Palaszczuk's leap is also a plunge into an uncertain future. For the next 11 years there will be much debate about whether it's worth it.

'... The new facilities that are built are intended to be productive and viable, rather than white elephants. Despite its name this will be a regional rather than city-based event, claiming to spread its legacy benefits along Olympic-enhanced transport corridors.

'History suggests much of this will be wishful thinking. A major part of the aim is to recast Brisbane as an international city able to hold its own alongside Australia’s current Olympic cities, Melbourne and Sydney.

'Brisbane 2032 will show a lot of people a good time. But questions of its legacy, good and bad, will take decades to resolve.'

In a year of sporting mega-events, the Brisbane Olympics can learn a lot from the ones that fail their host cities

Anthony Halog writes in The Conversation (16.8.22) about planning pitfalls for Brisbane's 2032 Olympics, with the author suggesting there are signs that organisers have learned from the mistakes of other Games host cities.

'In a year of major sporting events - the Commonwealth Games, the FIFA World Cup, cricket’s T20 World Cup, the Winter Olympics - conversations on greening such events are more essential than ever. While the Brisbane Olympics are a decade away, lessons from events like these need to be applied from the start to maximise the benefits of the city’s transformation for the 2032 Games. Good planning can produce a positive environmental legacy for years to come.

'In recent years, the focus on the impacts of such events on host cities, specifically the environmental impacts, has sharpened. As the costs of environmental degradation and climate change mount, Olympic plans must adapt to the host city’s sustainable development or redevelopment, as opposed to the city being developed around the Olympics.

'Of course, these considerations are not new. Sustainability has been established as the third pillar of the Olympics since the 1990s.

'... Brisbane is treating the Olympic Games as a platform for urban development that can transform how we travel, integrate multiple urban centres across South-East Queensland, and result in lasting changes to policies and behaviours. These goals stem from the importance of leaving a climate-positive legacy that will last.'

 

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