Urban Sustainability

Urban Sustainability was the focus of  the Geography field trip to London recently.Student Lucy Hele, previously at The Petersfield School, reviewed the experience for us.
‘The geography trip to London was a day packed full of relevant and interesting information about 'Urban Change', a topic we are currently studying in Geography. We began the day using the London Tube to travel to the Olympic Stadium, where we were shown around by two lecturers, who were extremely informative and gave many relevant, interesting facts related to our course, such as: 'the stadium is built out of aggregate rather than concrete, reducing the amount of CO2 released by 44000 tonnes' and 'the Westfield shopping centre, built for the Olympics created over 10,000 jobs and has a glass roof, reducing the amount of artificial lights needed'. We were also taken to a small museum about the sustainability of the Olympic Park, which was directly relevant to the specification of our course, which requires us to study how an urban area is being managed sustainably.

The afternoon involved looking around the East Village, previously known as the 'Athletes Village' during the 2012 Olympic Games. Again our tour guide explained how the buildings are made sustainably for example: 'there are small ponds outside the flats, which not only encourage wildlife but the water is used as grey water for services in the East Village apartments such as the toilets'. We also walked around Hackney Wick, an area near the Olympic Park, as a contrasting case study for sustainability. Hackney Wick was less focused on sustainability than the Olympic Park and it was interesting to see the major differences between areas that are so close to each other.
We then took the Tube to the Crystal Palace museum, a really exciting and visual museum that had many displays focused on the idea of sustainability in different areas, such as water, energy and building design. We finally ended the day taking the O2 cable car across the River Thames, giving a great view of the city and also showing us other areas in London we study on the Geography course, such as the Thames Barrier and Canary Wharf.

The day was extremely relevant to the course we are studying and provided us with lots of really useful information to help further our knowledge in the study of our Urban Change topic.’

Find out more about studying Geography at Alton College