Sustainable Sochi? At Least It’s Not In Beijing

The last three Olympics have been hosted by two countries that are some of the largest perpetrators of carbon emissions and production, Canada and China, and now Russia is going to  try and host the games with a sustainable vision. It is hard to believe that these countries can keep an agreement of long term sustainability when they all have halted climate change agreements and increased drilling in places like the arctic circle. If Russia is not sustainable on a national level, can they be sustainable in Sochi?

With a population of 343,334 in 2010 it is 3,000 people smaller than Vancouver was in 2010, but Vancouver is a port city and Sochi is a resort town on the shores of the black sea. If Sochi is going to be sustainable in the short or long term they must plan accordingly for the increased tourism both during and after the games. An increase in tourism is often associated with the “backlash” of the Olympics but this does not necessarily mean the City’s population will grow at an exceeded rate. Many cities (i.e. Johannesburg) hosting International events like the World Cup and Olympics have spent economic and environmental resources building facilities that cannot be supported or used in the years afterward.  In other words they overestimate the development that their city is capable of.

If Sochi commits to limiting excess infrastructure, a sustainable games can be achievable because it is resort city that is used to and can adapt to a short term increase in population. Their short term success is also boosted by the implementation of the Sustainable Management System which outlines thoughtful impact assessment and a responsible plan-do-check-act process. Information on the SMS can be found below

http://www.sochi2014.com/en/games/strategy/sustainability/progress/

 

 

 

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