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26 Jul 2016
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An Olympic effort: A look back on what we learned from London 2012 about delivering major infrastructure in the capital
The Rio 2016 Games opens next week. Can you believe it’s been four years since the London 2012 Games? Four years since the Olympics and Paralympics were all any engineer or designer in London could talk about. Four years since our industry came together to deliver best in class infrastructure that put London on the world stage in a big way.
When I look back on our London 2012 work I’m reminded of the Olympic motto Citius, Altius, Fortius (Faster, Higher, Stronger). We really took this to heart when we were working on the Games, and pushed ourselves to deliver everything better – to be quicker, more agile and efficient and to do everything at a better quality. Everything we did had to be fit not only for the needs of the Games, but for the needs of future visitors and residents to East London.
As we prepare for this wonderful summer of sport to reach its crescendo I think now is a good time to reflect on what London 2012 can teach us about delivering infrastructure for London in 2016.
If we treated every other infrastructure project in London like we did the Olympics just think what we could achieve. Building 50,000 Homes a year, for example, would be planned, managed and delivered just like the Olympics, with everyone moving in the same direction and committed to an excellent outcome, in a challenging timeframe.
There are a few basic approaches I believe we can take on other London infrastructure projects to give them that ‘Olympic gold’ standard.
Massive projects like the London 2012 Games and the need to build 50,000 homes a year in the capital require us to bring together the very best of engineering skills from across all disciplines, as early on in the project as we can. At Atkins alone we invested more than a thousand years of our engineering and design experts’ time in delivering the Games. Imagine if we put all of that expertise and effort into solving London’s housing crisis.
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