Friday, 8 June 2012

Qatar 2022 - a sustainable idea?

As excitement about the upcoming EURO 2012 is about to burst, we can't help but post about a football topic, namely the tremendous infrastructure project of development for the World Cup in Qatar in 2022.

When we first heard about the decision of FIFA to host the 2022 World Cup in Qatar reactions ranged from disbelieve to anger. Why on earth would it make sense to host the World Cup in a country where there is no football infrastructure at all, the history of football is close to non-existent and drinking beer on the streets could theoretically be punished with lashes? Leaving all political, social and financial aspects aside, we came across this interesting (english) article at German newspaper on German Architect Albert Speer and his sustainable approaches to build the stadiums and infrastructure.

Speer's firm Speer&Partners is renowned for development of large scale cities with a special focus on sustainability. Naturally, Speer was an ideal partner for Qatar and as Speer says, "Major events like the Olympics or the World Cup make the unthinkable thinkable".
And suddenly we are confronted with seemingly crazy but also fascinating ideas, e.g. all the stadiums are designed in a way so that they can be either significantly downscaled after the world cup or even completely dismantled to be shipped to developing countries as smaller sports venues. Another idea focuses on cooling the stadiums down in a sustainable CO2 neutral way using a technology called absorption cooling, using water from the Persian golf that will enable the stadium to "sweat".

So, all in all, although we are still skeptical of the idea, at least we feel that this development might turn out into an interesting playing ground for sustainable development technologies and ideas. So after we have survived EURO frenzy, we will continue to follow up closely on developments in Qatar. 

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