Today the students traveled to Sydney Olympic Park and explored it in a freeform way on bicycle, followed afterward by a delicious lunch at one of the cafes in Bicentennial Park and an informative reflection session. In the reflection section we revisited some of the original questions the professors asked at the beginning of the trip and talked about many things from education to environmental sustainability.
While learning about the Olympic Park in my previous post was interesting and the ways they made it sustainable seemed cool in thought; they were breathtaking to see in person. They had made many ingenious efforts around the park to try to make the longevity of the project great.
They took tainted soil and sequestered it in mounds throughout the park in the shape of the Southern Cross. They create lookout spots, providing unhindered panoramic views of the park.
They used permeable pavers in order to reduce the amount of runoff water and one of the more unique things they did was to use scuttle boats out in a harbour to provide a habitat for birds and marine life.
The most fun thing for me during the day though, and a neat idea too was that the bmx and downhill mountain biking courses were free for public use and in addition to getting to do some mountain biking, we also saw races being held on the other course there. It is one of the ways that Sydney kept the park usable to the public in a low cost, sustainable way.
The most impressive thing to me though was that even though it was built to be sustainable in the beginning, there has been continued development in the area with more housing and restaurants being developed. This shows that Sydney was in it for the long haul in the beginning and it is a world-wide model for sustainability.
All in all it was a very fun day, and it showed that by using some forethought in designing large civil projects that they can be enjoyed for years after the initial use; instead of when you only think about one thing like the Olympic Stadium in Beijing, that is now laying derelict due to the high operating costs.