London Olympic Authority decided to drop Carbon Neutral goal

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In 2010 it was announced by the London Olympic Authority that they planned to make the Olympic games 2012 the Greenest Olympic ever. They ensured that they were fully sustainable and carbon neutral.

Two years later, these words have change and instead of being carbon neutral and the greenest Olympic ever, they talked about reducing and mitigate the carbon footprint instead.

There was a fear that it would cost to much to aim for carbon neutrality even though it only would have raised the ticket prices by two to three percent per ticket. Instead the London Olympics decided to offset the emission from transport and building projects by funding environmental projects around the world.

This solution has had a lot of criticism since many believe this gives countries the idea that they can do whatever they want with transport and building without trying to reduce their carbon footprint in the first place. A spokesperson from Friends of the Earth states that the focus has to be on reducing the emissions and not on a false solution to “solve” the problem after the damage already has been made.

Why the London Olympic Authority decided to drop the idea of a carbon neutral Olympics is still a question. But like so many Olympic promises it turned out to be just hot air. Greenwash at its worst.

Click London Olympics for more blogs
See our Olympics project pages for more information and videos.
Or visit PlanA our general blog on urbanism, planning and architecture.

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Bordon – The Next Tesco Town?


In a recent interview with Jack Warshaw, a local resident to the Bordon area and member of the Bordon Area Action Group (BAAG) committee, the suggestion that the Eco-Town development could lead to the decline of Bordon from a small and quaint town to becoming one of the many new emerging ‘Tesco Town‘ arose.

I hear you all now, what is a ‘Tesco Town’? We all, whether we like it or not have some association with this vast supermarket chain; whether it be the place you do your weekly food shop, your mobile phone provider or where you go for travel insurance – let’s face it, Tesco are taking over the world, well the UK at least.

But what does this mean for other businesses? It cannot have gone unnoticed that over the last few years, independent petrol stations have slowly been disintegrating and being replaced with Tesco, Sainsburys or Morrisons petrol stations, your good old corner shops which used to stock weird and wonderful products are now Tesco Express or Coop Local and fashion magazines are now filled with the latest bargains from George at Asda or Cherokee at Tesco.

This new supermarket craze is helping the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Tesco controls over 30% of the grocery market and certainly does not seem to be suffering the recession blues.

The problem. Towns and villages are losing their charm, for each new Tesco store that opens up, a small part of that town vanishes being replaced by a  superstore with no local history. The days when shoppers knew which family owned which business and each store had a purpose are slowly disappearing as everything you could possibly ever need can now be found under one roof or online.

Jack states, ‘Tesco would be delighted if there was an Eco Town here because they would instantly try to expand to be even bigger… once again you’re looking at a clone town, a Tesco town, an anywhere town, the type of place where all the potential for individual character is eroded and lost’

You don’t need to look far for examples of Tesco towns, towns where the high street is dominated by chain stores and pleasant pedestrianized streets have been turned into car parks – there is even an online society concerned with the power these supermarkets have over the consumer market. This is of course not just happening here, the US are dominated with the giant supermarket chain Walmart and that too, is slowly taking over.

One thing is for sure; there are plenty of people unhappy with this supermarket domination and Bordon residents are no exception. Eco town or no eco town, surely the voice of the locals should be considered before turning what was a small and delightful town into a large and generic housing area.

To see interviews with Bordon Councillors, residents and Bordon Area Action Group members see our Eco Towns and Villages project page or our read the latest blog here.

Or visit PlanA our general blog on urbanism, planning and architecture.

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