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Johannesburg Goes Green for FIFA 2010 World Cup

June 1, 2010

The Green Movement has taken a firm hold in one of the world’s biggest arenas, the FIFA World Cup, with each successive host country trying to top the last in how Green they can be for the World Cup. The Netherlands have gone as far as saying that they will promise the Greenest World Cup ever if they are selected as host for 2018 or 2022 World Cup; their plan includes giving away two million bicycles to fans if they are selected.

The current host, South Africa, has implemented the Legacy Project in which it has tried to achieve numerous and very ambitious Green goals. The biggest of which is the cleaning of the river Klip River, which has  runs through numerous industrial sites, slime dams and gold mines before flowing through Johannesburg.

Johannesburg itself has a large mining industry, which not only contributes to the pollution of the river but also the air and soil. The city is working closely with the mining industry and is expecting to subsidize the industry to become more sustainable and eco-friendly.

Another project was recycling the remains of the old Orlando stadium for the construction of the new one. The city used rubble from the old stadium to lay down the foundation of the new stadium. Also they will try to make the stadium self sustainable. Rainwater will be collected to in large vats to water the field and recycled water will be used for restroom facilities. The entire stadium will be solar powered and any excess power will be sent to the city grid. The massive flood lights however, will be powered by the city grid.

All these Green goals seem like publicity stunts put up by South Africa to get as much out of the World Cup as possible. That might be true, to a certain extent; however most of these goals have excellent long term effects. The overhaul of the mining industry could reduce the city’s carbon footprint and keep it low for years to come, and also avert significant amount of pollution from the Klip River. The World Cup could effectively accelerate South Africa’s sustainability efforts. It is by far the most helpful publicity stunt I have ever seen.

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