15 green sports venues
Princes Park, U.K.
The relatively diminutive size of this 4,100-seater is no reflection of the scale of its eco-ambitions. Opened in 2006, the facility boasts a living roof, rainwater collection, solar panels, and energy-efficient lighting, making it the U.K.’s first sustainable small stadium. The club also encourages fans to recycle and use public transportation. So … suck it, Dover.
World Games Stadium, Taiwan
Officials in Taiwan have built a massive solar-powered stadium in Kaohsiung for this year’s World Games, a sort of off-year Olympics (with fistball!). With more than 8,000 solar panels, it’s Taiwan’s largest such installation. Architect Toyo Ito also used local materials, incorporated natural ventilation, and created a design that reminds some of a river.
Beijing Olympics Venues, China
The synchronized drummers and under-aged gymnasts are long gone, but the venues built for last year’s high-profile Olympics aren’t going anywhere. From a swimming site that used spectators’ body heat to warm the pool to solar power at the iconic Bird Nest stadium to the first Olympic Village to earn LEED certification, organizers created an innovative set of reusable structures.
Stade de Suisse Wankdorf, Switzerland
Home to the BSC Young Boys football team, this arena in Bern, Switzerland, boasts the world’s largest stadium-integrated solar power system. With nearly 11,000 solar cells at work, the facility generates enough energy to power 350 four-person households. Built on the site of an old arena, the complex also houses restaurants, shopping, and even a public school.
London Olympics Venues, England
Sustainability is more than a catchphrase for the 2012 Olympics — it’s at the very heart of the plan. The entire complex is an exercise in placemaking; when the Games are over, the Lower Lea Valley will be home to the largest new urban greenspace in Europe, eco-facilities that are usable by the community, new footpaths and bicycle paths, and on-site renewable energy. That’s what the kids call raising the bar.