London transforming itself from industrial polluter to sustainable business center

The Velodrome, designed by Expedition Engineering, is seen here through the window of a bus giving a tour of the Olympic facilities. Track cycling and Paralympic track cycling events will be held inside this facility, made with environmental load reduction as a top priority. (Mainichi)

The Velodrome, designed by Expedition Engineering, is seen here through the window of a bus giving a tour of the Olympic facilities. Track cycling and Paralympic track cycling events will be held inside this facility, made with environmental load reduction as a top priority. (Mainichi)

As the construction taking place in the Olympic Park reaches its final stages, heavy machinery is being used nearby to dig up the surface layer of the earth. Martyn Lass, a technical director at the major general contracting firm Atkins Ltd., explains that work is being done to remedy the severe soil pollution in the area. The contaminants include tar, cyanide and asbestos.

Since spring of 2006, Atkins Ltd. has undertaken the demolition of 220 factories and other structures, and the decontamination of soil in the area. The company’s target is to decontaminate and transport a total of 2 million cubic meters of soil. Between 800 and 1,000 workers using five massive soil-washing machines are trying to clean about 10,000 cubic meters of soil per week. (Checker/Desk: See below)

At one time, the part of east London now home to the Olympic Park project was occupied by a cluster of factories. According to Mark Bradbury, who is deputy director of development at London Thames Gateway Development Corp., a public agency dedicated to the redevelopment of the Thames River basin, the «winds» in Europe blow from west to east; the wealthy gather upwind, and the factories, downwind.

East London industrialized early, supporting the British economy. Following World War II, however, it lagged behind Japan and Germany in technological development. Since then, land that had been left with the toxic by-products of an earlier industry that burned massive amounts of coal kept private investors at bay. Large swathes of the area were abandoned and sank into decay.

It is there, however, that the 2012 Olympics will take place. Some 7.3 billion pounds have been pumped into the Games — triple the initial estimate. The British people, who, along with the Industrial Revolution produced humanity’s first example of widespread pollution, are now fighting this bitter legacy.

Contamination stretches across a wide area. Bradbury says that the plan is to turn the empty lots covered in weeds by the Thames some 20 kilometers east of the Olympic Park into an industrial park equipped with the latest recycling technology. Named the London Sustainable Industries Park, it is linked to the Olympics through its philosophy of sustainability. While ongoing soil decontamination will be crucial for this 25-hectare complex, a cutting-edge plastic recycling plant is already up and running. Bradbury says that he’s optimistic that the Games will give the project momentum.

Meanwhile, London & Partners, a non-profit promotional organization for London, sent out invitations with the intriguing message: «Is your business Games ready?» to senior officials of foreign corporations for a gathering on Jan. 26 that underscored the increasing marketing opportunities of the coming Olympics.

The organization is a private-public body tied to the London municipal government whose mission it is to attract foreign corporations to the Thames River basin’s industrial zone and the rest of London. It has been flooded with inquiries from companies in industries that want to highlight their environmentally-friendly technologies, according to Pry Ashby, a senior business development manager at London & Partners.

Sachie Minami, who is the only Japanese employee of the 130-strong organization, has been charged with dealing with Japanese corporations and will be holding events with Japanese companies in Osaka on Feb. 23 and Tokyo on Feb. 27. «The British have a much larger vision of this that goes beyond the Games,» she says.

As the three witches say in Shakespeare’s Macbeth: «Fair is foul, and foul is fair.» Everything possesses contradictory forces. Britain is now trying to dig a path from its polluted earth to sustainable business.

Source / Fuente: mdn.mainichi.jp

Author / Autor: Eisuke Inoue

Date / Fecha: 07/02/12

Visit our Facebook / Visite nuestro Facebook:

Visit our YouTube channel / Visite nuestro canal de YouTube:

www.youtube.com/user/Canal100SD

www.100-SD.com

Deja una respuesta

Introduce tus datos o haz clic en un icono para iniciar sesión:

Logo de WordPress.com

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de WordPress.com. Salir /  Cambiar )

Imagen de Twitter

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de Twitter. Salir /  Cambiar )

Foto de Facebook

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de Facebook. Salir /  Cambiar )

Conectando a %s