The ‘Green’ Games Sydney 2000 Played

  • Gordon Waitt
Part of the International Political Economy Series book series (IPES)


According to the Olympic Charter, increased understandings of cooperation, solidarity, tolerance and environmental sustainability are all social outcomes of hosting an Olympic Games. This chapter explores one of these claims, environmental sustainability, in the context of Sydney 2000’s ‘green’ games. See Waitt (2003) for a discussion of social affects. The Olympic Charter’s apolitical social movement claims are juxtaposed in this chapter by examining the games as urban spectacle. The games become a political mechanism to revitalize deindustrialized localities along the lines of consumption activities, such as those offered by sporting, culture and entertainment activities (Harvey, 1989a). As urban spectacle, the Olympics provide an important instrument by which a city is argued to differentiate itself within an increasingly global world economy, thus securing overseas investments and tourists (Ashworth and Voogd, 1990; Hambleton, 1991; Whitson and Macintosh, 1993; Loftman and Nevin, 1996). Designing, marketing and constructing Olympic venues within a globalized economy is demonstrated to call upon establishing an elite urban development authority informed by entrepreneurial urban planning polices of the New Right (Harvey 1989b). Sydney’s ‘green’ games is thus explored as an example par excellence of a hallmark event in the context of economic globalization, deindustrialization, commercialization of sport, the global shift to the service sector and entrepreneurial planning processes.


Olympic Game Environmental Impact Statement Environmental Guideline Sydney Morning Green Game 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Angel, J. (1993a), ‘Sydney’s green Olympic bid: Issues of concern’, Total Environment Centre Media Release, 24 June.Google Scholar
  2. Angel, J. (1993b), ‘Sydney’s Olympic bid fails key environmental test’, Total Environment Centre Media Release, 17 June.Google Scholar
  3. Arnstein, J. (1969), ‘A ladder of citizen participation’, Journal of the American Institute of Planners, 35 (4), 216–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Ashworth, G.J. and H. Voogd (1990), Selling the city: marketing approaches in public sector urban planning, London, Belhaven Press.Google Scholar
  5. Augé, M. (1995), Non-lieux: introduction à une Anthropologie de la Surmondernité, Paris: Seuil.Google Scholar
  6. Australian Manufacturing Council (AMC) (1992), The environmental challenge: best practice environmental management, Melbourne: AMC.Google Scholar
  7. Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council and the National Health and Medical Research Council (ANZECC/NHMRC) (1992), Australian and New Zealand guidelines for the assessment and management of contaminated sites, Melbourne: ANZECC/NHMRC.Google Scholar
  8. Bacon, W. (1993), ‘Watchdog’s bark muffled’, Reportage, September, pp.3–5.Google Scholar
  9. Bale, J. and J. Sang (1996), Kenyan running: movement, culture, geography and global change, London: Frank Cass.Google Scholar
  10. Beder, S. (1996), ‘Sydney’s Green Olympics’, Current Affairs Bulletin, 70(6), 12–18.Google Scholar
  11. Beder, S. (2000), Global spin: the corporate assault on environmentalism, rev. edn, Melbourne: Scribe Publications.Google Scholar
  12. Bell, K. (1993), ‘Australia’s environmental record and the Olympic Village, in Sydney Olympic Bid Limited’, Significant Speeches, 1039–5695.Google Scholar
  13. Bonnemaison, S. (1990), ‘City policies and cyclical events’, Design Quarterly, 147, 24–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Booth, D. and C. Tatz (1996), ‘Sydney 2000: the games people play’, Current Affairs Bulletin, 70(7), 4–11.Google Scholar
  15. Bowers, P. (1993), ‘We’re top in “big Australian crawl” at Brothel de Paris’, Melbourne Age, 24 September, p.2.Google Scholar
  16. Bruntland Report, World Commission on Environment and Development (1987), Our common future, London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Burnley, I., P. Murphy and R. Fagan (1997), Migration and Australian cities, Sydney: Federation Press.Google Scholar
  18. Burroughs, A. (1999), ‘Winning the bid’, in R. Cashman and A. Hughes (eds), Staging the Olympics: the event and its impact, Sydney: University of New South Wales Press, pp.35–45.Google Scholar
  19. Cashman R. and A. Hughes (1997), ‘Introduction’, in R. Cashman and A. Hughes (eds), The green games a golden opportunity, proceedings of a conference organized by the Centre for Olympic Studies, The University of New South Wales, 12 September, pp. 11–13.Google Scholar
  20. Chernushenko, D. (2000), ‘The environmental legacy of the Sydney Olympics: how green was your Games?’ Environmental Institute of Australia, New South Wales Division, Novotel, Olympic Boulevard, Homebush Bay, November.Google Scholar
  21. Clarke, G. (1993), ‘Global competition and the environmental performance of resource firms: is the “race to the bottom” inevitable?’, International Environmental Affairs, 35, 147–67.Google Scholar
  22. Cook, D. (1993), ‘Green Groups attack Games bid claims’, Sydney Morning Herald, 29 May, p. 7.Google Scholar
  23. Cox, K. (1997), Space of globalisation: reasserting the power of the local, New York: UCL Press.Google Scholar
  24. Craik, J. (1991), Resorting to tourism: cultural policies for tourist development in Australia, Sydney: Allen & Unwin.Google Scholar
  25. Daily Mirror (1993), ‘Aussies build Olympic city on poison waste dump’, 9 July, p.1.Google Scholar
  26. Dames and Moore (1991), ‘Site remediation works: state sports centre, Homebush Bay development’, Report prepared for Property Services Group, NSW.Google Scholar
  27. Darcy, S. and A.J. Veal (1994), ‘The Sydney 2000 Olympic Games: the story so far’, Leisure Options: Australian Journal of Leisure and Recreation, 4 (1), 5–14.Google Scholar
  28. Dempster, G. (1985), ‘Challenges in department of sport and recreation and tourism and Australian Sports Commission’, Australian sport: a profile, Canberra: Australian Government Press Services.Google Scholar
  29. Dunn, K.M. and McGuirk, P.M. (1999), ‘Hallmark events’, in R. Cashman and A. Hughes (eds), Staging the Olympics: the event and its impact, Sydney: University of New South Wales Press, pp. 18–34.Google Scholar
  30. Earth Council (2000), ‘Sydney 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games: environmental performance of the Olympic Co-ordination Authority, Review III’, prepared by the Earth Council, 18 February 2000, San Jose, Costa Rica.Google Scholar
  31. Fensham, R. (1994), ‘Prime time hyperspace: the Olympic city as spectacle’, in K. Gibson and S. Watson (eds), Metropolis now: planning and the urban in contemporary Australia, Sydney: Pluto Press, pp.171–85.Google Scholar
  32. Grant, C. (1997), ‘The infrastructure of the games’, in R. Cashman and A. Hughes (eds), The green games a golden opportunity, proceedings of a conference organized by the Centre for Olympic Studies, The University of New South Wales, 12 September, pp.41–6.Google Scholar
  33. Greenpeace International (2000), How green the games? Greenpeace’s environmental assessment of the Sydney 2000 Olympics, Sydney: Greenpeace.Google Scholar
  34. Greenpeace International (2001), ‘Greenpeace International’, retrieved 22 February 2002 from the World Wide Web:^toxics/html/content/pvchearing/pvchearing.ppt.Google Scholar
  35. Green Games Watch 2000 (2000a), Environmental performance review report New South Wales Olympic Co-ordination Authority, Bondi Junction, NSW: Green Games Watch 2000 Inc.Google Scholar
  36. Green Games Watch 2000 (2000b), ‘Water conservation — Olympic solutions. Green Games Watch 2000’, retrieved 12 December 2000 from the World Wide Web: Scholar
  37. Greens in Lowe (1992), Survey — Homebush Bay development, Sydney: Greens in Lowe.Google Scholar
  38. Hall, CM. (1992), Hallmark tourist events: impacts, management and planning, London: Belhaven Press.Google Scholar
  39. Hall, C.M. (1994), Tourism and politics: policy, power and place, London: John Wiley and Sons.Google Scholar
  40. Hall, CM. (1995), Introduction to tourism in Australia: impacts, planning and development, South Melbourne: Longman Cheshire.Google Scholar
  41. Hambleton, R. (1991), ‘The regeneration of U.S. and British cities’, Local Government Studies, 17(5), 63–5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Harvey, D. (1989a), The condition of postmodernity: an enquiry into the origins of cultural change, Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  43. Harvey, D. (1989b), ‘From managerialism to entrepreneurialism: the transformation of urban governance in late capitalism’, Geograftska Annaler, 71B, 3–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Hawley, J. (1992), ‘An Olympian brawl over quay west’, Sydney Morning Herald, 25 January, p.38.Google Scholar
  45. Head, L. and R. Fullagar (1997), ‘Hunter-gatherer archaeology and pastoral contact: perspectives from the NW Territory, Australia’, World Archaeology, 28 (3), 418–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Hickie, J.D. (1993), ‘Editorial: Un-Australian Olympic Games’, Sydney Morning Herald, 13 August, p. 12.Google Scholar
  47. Hogarth, M. (1997a), ‘The media, the community and the green games publicity’, in R. Cashman and A. Hughes (eds), The green games a golden opportunity, proceedings of a conference organized by the Centre for Olympic Studies, The University of New South Wales, 12 September, pp. 101–2.Google Scholar
  48. Hogarth, M. (1997b), ‘Toxic talk poisons Olympic relations’, Sydney Morning Herald, 19 July, p. 16.Google Scholar
  49. Huxley, M. (1991), ‘Making cities fun: Darling Harbour and the immobilisation of spectacle’, in P. Carroll (ed.), Tourism in Australia, Sydney: Harcourt, pp.141–52.Google Scholar
  50. Inner City Fund Pty Ltd. (1993), ‘Health and environmental risk assessment for dioxins: Homebush Bay Redevelopment Area’, report prepared for Property Services Group of NSW, 5 February.Google Scholar
  51. International Olympic Committee (1993), Olympic message: environment, Lausanne: International Olympic Committee.Google Scholar
  52. James, P. (1997a), Environmental performance review report Olympic Co-ordination Authority: compliance with the environmental guidelines for the summer Olympics, Sydney: Green Games Watch 2000 Inc.Google Scholar
  53. James, P. (1997b), ‘Environmental performance for the Olympics’, Australian Planner, 34 (2), 650–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Jennings A. and V. Simpson (1992), Lords of the rings: power, money and drugs in the modern Olympics, London: Simon & Schuster.Google Scholar
  55. Kell, P. (2000), Good sports: Australian sport and the myth of the fair go, Sydney: Pluto Press.Google Scholar
  56. Kelly, R. (1993), ‘Media Release. World Environment Day and our environmental Olympics’, 5 June.Google Scholar
  57. Kennedy, Alan (1992), ‘We’d win gold for burying head in the smog’, Sydney Morning Herald, 5 June, p. 15.Google Scholar
  58. Lenskyj, H. (1998), ‘Green games or empty promises? Environmental issues and Sydney 2000, Global and Cultural Critique: Problematising the Olympic Games’, University of Western Ontario, Centre for Olympic Studies.Google Scholar
  59. Loftman, P. and B. Nevin (1996), ‘Going for growth: prestige projects in three British cities’, Urban Studies, 33 (6), 991–1091.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. McGeoch, R. with G. Korporaal (1994), Bid: how Australia won the 2000 Games, Melbourne: Heinemann.Google Scholar
  61. Mommas, H. and H. van der Poel (1989), ‘Changes in economy, politics and lifestyles: an essay on the restructuring of urban leisure’, in P. Bramham, H. Mommas and H. van der Poel (eds), Leisure and urban processes, London, Routledge, pp.254–76.Google Scholar
  62. Munro-Clark, M. (1992), Citizen participation in government, Sydney: Hale & Iremonger.Google Scholar
  63. North, D. (1992), ‘Sydney’s green village aims to be envy of Olympic bidders’, Sydney Morning Herald, 22 December, p.4.Google Scholar
  64. North, S. (1993), ‘Sydney’s odds on, and deservedly so’, Sydney Morning Herald, 23 June, p.1.Google Scholar
  65. North, S. and D. Cook (1993), ‘ “Immediate” benefits if Games come’, Sydney Morning Herald, 17 June, p. 7.Google Scholar
  66. Olympic Coordination Authority (OCA) (n.d.), Greening up for the games, Sydney: OCA.Google Scholar
  67. Olympic Coordination Authority (1997), State of the environment 1996, Sydney: OCA.Google Scholar
  68. Olympic Coordination Authority (OCA) (2000), ‘Ecology Program. Formation of the Homebush Bay Environmental Reference Group. OCA’, retrieved 11 February 2002 from the World Wide Web: Scholar
  69. Olympic Coordination Authority (OCA) (2001), ‘Sydney Olympic Park vision for beyond 2000, OCA’, retrieved 28 August 2001 from the World Wide Web: Scholar
  70. Ottesen, P. (1997), ‘The Olympic vision’, in R. Cashman and A. Hughes (eds), The green games a golden opportunity, proceedings of a conference organized by the Centre for Olympic Studies, The University of New South Wales, 12 September, pp.32–9.Google Scholar
  71. Palfreyman, R. (1997), ‘The media, the community and the green games publicity’, in R. Cashman and A. Hughes (eds), The green games a golden opportunity, proceedings of a conference organized by the Centre for Olympic Studies, The University of New South Wales, 12 September, pp.97–100.Google Scholar
  72. Porter, M.E. (1991), ‘America’s green strategy’, Scientific American, 264 (4), 96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Prasad, D. (1999), ‘Environment’, in R. Cashman and A. Hughes (eds), Staging the Olympics: the event and its impact, Sydney: University of New South Wales Press, pp.83–92.Google Scholar
  74. Property Services Group (1992), ‘Briefing documents on site remediation and environmental investigations at Homebush Bay’, March 1992.Google Scholar
  75. Pusey, M. (1991), Economic rationalism in Canberra: a nation-building state changes its mind, Melbourne: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  76. Radio National, Australian Broadcasting Commission (1999), ‘Will the green Olympics make the finish line?’, Saturday 6 February.Google Scholar
  77. Radio National, Australian Broadcasting Commission (2000), ‘Sydney’s Green Games!’, Saturday 5 August.Google Scholar
  78. Roche, M. (1994), ‘Mega-events and urban policy’, Annals of Tourism Research, 21, 1–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Ruchel, M. (1997), ‘Lethal hazardous waste stockpiled next to “green” Olympic site’, press release, Greenpeace, Sydney, 3 June.Google Scholar
  80. Schiist, R. (1995), ‘An Olympian Challenge’, Sydney Morning Herald, 1 April, p.12.Google Scholar
  81. Sydney Olympic Bid Limited (SOBL) (1992), ‘Committee to ensure Sydney Games are green’, news release, 21 December.Google Scholar
  82. Sydney Olympic Bid Limited (SOBL) (1993a), Sydney 2000 Olympics Bid: bid documents, Sydney: SOBL.Google Scholar
  83. Sydney Olympic Bid Limited (SOBL) (1993b), Sydney 2000 environmental guidelines, Sydney: SOBL.Google Scholar
  84. Sydney Olympic Park Authority (2002), ‘Sydney Olympic Park Master Plan SOPA’, World Wide Web (, accessed 27 November 1993.
  85. Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (SOCOG) (1995), ‘A summary of the environmental guidelines for the summer Olympic Games’, Sydney: SOCOG.Google Scholar
  86. Syme G.J., B.J. Shaw, D.M. Fenton and W.S. Mueller (1989), The planning and evaluation of hallmark events, Aldershot: Avebury.Google Scholar
  87. Totaro, P. (1994), ‘Ombudsman attacks new FOI exemption’, Sydney Morning Herald, 8 August, p.5.Google Scholar
  88. Troy, P. N. (1996), The perils of urban consolidation: a discussion of Australian housing and urban development policies, Sydney: Federation Press.Google Scholar
  89. Waitt, G. (1997), ‘Environmental standards and industrial restructuring: the case of the Australian paper industry’, Australian Geographical Studies, 35 (3), 324–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. Waitt, G. (1999), ‘Playing games with Sydney: marketing Sydney for the 2000 Olympics’, Urban Studies, 36 (7), 1055–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  91. Waitt, G (2003), ‘Social Impacts of the Sydney Olympics’, Annals of Tourism Research, 30 (1), 194–215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. Ward, S.V. and R.J. Gold (1994), ‘Introduction’, in R.J. Gold and V.W Ward (eds), Place promotion: the use of publicity and marketing to sell towns and regions, Chichester: John Wiley and Sons, pp. 1–18.Google Scholar
  93. Winter, I. and T. Brooks (1993), ‘Urban planning and the entrepreneurial state: the view from Victoria, Australia’, Environment and Planning C, 11, 263–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  94. Whitson, D. and D. Macintosh (1993), ‘Becoming a world-class city: hallmark events and sport franchises in the growth strategies of western Canadian cities’, Sociology of Sport Journal, 10 (3), 221–40.Google Scholar
  95. Young, B. (1992), ‘Homebush Bay master plan’, Australian Planner, 30, 221–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Gordon Waitt 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gordon Waitt

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations