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The Environmental Impacts of 2010 sample essay


Nowadays as the issues of environmental sustainability have been a heated theme in the event industry, environmental impacts caused by major events are always examined through a bias lens and they are widely believed to be directly bound up with the host surroundings. When realizing the importance of sustainable development, many large-scale festivals such as Olympic Games and Glastonbury Music Festival are striving to mitigate their physical impacts on the local community and looking forward to turning into an eco-friendly event. This report focuses on the environmental dimension of the mega event and investigates both the pros and cons of the environmental impact.

Table of Content
1. Introduction
2. Background of 2010 Taipei International Flora Expo
3. Environmental impacts
3.1 Positive Environmental Impacts
3.1.1 Showcasing the environment
3.1.2 Providing models for best practice
3.1.3 Increasing environmental awareness
3.1.4 Infrastructure legacy
3.1.5 Urban transportation and renewal
3.2 Negative impacts
3.2.1 Litter problems
3.2.2 Air Pollution
4. Conclusion
5. References

1. Introduction

As the event industry has been rapidly flourishing and well received over the years, staging the event is seen as one practicable means of displaying the local surroundings. However, conducting an event often has straight physical impacts (both active and passive) on the environment, such as all kinds of contamination, destruction of flora and fauna as well as the depletion of natural resources. For this reason, I decide to select environmental impacts as the subject of this report. With the increasing consciousness of sustainable development, environmental impacts generated by major festivals in recent years draw deeper attention from all fields of society and become a hot topic around the globe.

Most of festivals, especially those large-scale events, now are dedicated to protecting the host environment by effective operations wherever applicable and diminishing any possible negative impacts. The aim of this report is to examine environmental impacts through an instance of 2010 Taipei International Flora Expo as well as evaluate both positive and negative physical effects triggered by the assigned example.

2. Background of 2010 Taipei International Flora Expo 2010 Taipei International Flora Expo, a mega flora festival identified by AIPH (International Association of Horticultural Producers), was organised by Taipei government. It was the first time that Taiwan got authorised to run such an international-scale event and Taipei was also the seventh host city held in Asia. Going along with the previous excellent green practice, Taipei International Flora Expo was designed to show the creativity of horticultural decoration as well as implement the idea of sustainable environmental development and planned for advocating new green life-styles to individuals.

The definition of sustainable development refers that ‘development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’ (World Commission on Environment and Development 1987). Different from other mega events, the International Flora Expo does not require the host city to spend too much money on new amenities, but encourage it to make use of existing sites. This garden festival enhanced the old facilities and applied the principles of 3R (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) and 3G (Green Building, Green Energy, Green Transportation) into its whole event project and the construction of infrastructure. Figure.1. 2010 Taipei International Flora Expo (綠色工廠2010)

3. Environmental impacts

Events and surroundings are closely linked with each other. From the moment that the city has decided to bid for the event, impacts soon started to occur on the environment. Host surroundings may be extraordinarily fragile and great consideration should be taken to look after them. A large-scale event should need to be conducted by an environmental impact assessment. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a crucial environmental tool which is seen as the necessary procedure of activity in order to give the environment its appropriate place in the decision-making process by improving the quality of advanced information to event organisers, so that environmentally sensitive determination can be made paying careful attention to minimizing impacts, enhancing the planning of activities and protecting the environment (outlined by Kees Bastmeijer and Timo Koivurova, 2008). Analysis of the environmental impacts of events can be divided into three groups of physical impacts on the natural environment; impacts on the man-made environment and impacts on the ecosystem (Lóránt, 2009).

Firstly, natural environmental impacts contain air quality, geological factors and water quality, depletion of natural resources and flora and fauna. Secondly, the impacts on the man-made environment include the infrastructure put in place at the festival, the changes in the land-use and building and visual impacts. Finally, the ecosystem refers to the ecological network or flora and fauna. As for physical and environmental impacts, they are as complex as other impacts on the surroundings. They may be domestic and international impacts, reversible and irreversible effects, positive and negative influences. In the following section the favorable (positive) and unfavorable (negative) impacts will be come up for discussion independently.

3.1 Positive environmental impacts
When it comes to positive physical and environmental effects, Hall (1989) refer that a successful event has five points of favorable impacts as follows:

* Showcasing the environment
* Providing models for best practice,
* Increasing environmental awareness,
* Infrastructure legacy
* Improved transport and communication
* Urban transportation and renewal

As an environment-based festival, 2010 Taipei Flora expo as a whole brought about lots of beneficial impacts on the host surroundings.

3.1.1 Showcasing the environment

Running the event is an effective approach to showcase the distinctive features of the host environment. Hall (1989) points out that selling the image of a hallmark event includes marking the intrinsic properties of the destination. Taking the opportunity of holding Flora Exposition, Taipei government devoted to renovating the majority of aging buildings in the host area such as Taipei Fine Arts Park, Children’s Leisure Centre, Zhongshan Soccer Stadium and Lin-An-Tai Historic Houses, and converting them into the new look with green concepts. Taipei authority successfully showcased their achievements in the construction of urban afforestation, the refurbishment of local amenities as well as in the areas of sightseeing. According to the official statistics, it is estimated that 2010 Taipei International Expo in total appealed to 8,963,666 attendants during the 171-day exposition.

3.1.2 Providing models for best practice

By the event Taipei delivered its outstanding accomplishments in the industry of horticulture and eco-technology and in the implementation of urban greening. Many records created by this festival made visitors from all over the world proud. Dr. Doek Faber, the president of the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH), publicly admired Taipei Flora Expo as the most interesting, innovative and creative one in the past five decades and added that this event has founded a new flora expo criterion and set an excellent practice for the coming 10 years.

2010 Taipei Flora Expo was considered as the great models of sustainable development and urban afforestation for other cities to follow. After the successful bidding, Taipei started a series of environmental protection work and made ‘urban greening’ into reality. 2010 Taipei Flora Expo also became a catalyst in boosting the environmental sustainable development of Taiwan. Other noticeable achievements which can be regarded as positive models for practice include: (Flora Expo Revisited 2010)

* Each material of event was made in Taiwan
* This festival attracted extra international attention to Taiwan’s garden industry
* This festival offered many chances for Taiwan’s local cultural and creative industries to display their outstanding works
* This festival help people realise the importance of the natural environment
* This festival was the first mega event conducted by Taiwan
* This festival got a good reputation at home and abroad
* This festival was an eye-opener regarding urban aesthetics

3.1.3 Increasing environmental awareness

2010 Taipei Flora Expo was highlighted to the importance of environmental protection, so the festival organizers made great efforts to conserve the natural community and they also believed that they have an obligation to increase consumer awareness of environmental issues. The event organizers specially produced a series of 3D record films related to the latest environmental issues that were played in EXPO Theatre and hoped that through watching these movies participants can seriously face up to the environmental problems and can take actual action to protect our surroundings. In addition, there was a new-fashion eco-friendly architecture that was assembled from 1.5 million plastic bottles (instead of bricks) to put an emphasis on the idea of recycling and sustainable environmental development. Figure.2 Eco ark (綠色工廠, 2010)

3.1.4 Infrastructure legacy

Regarding heritage preservation issues, the event managers integrated all legacies which are located in the host venues into the plan and then soon started undertaking the renovation. Taipei Story House and Lin-An-Tai Historic House are rebuilt to leisure places with the combination of cultural heritages and unique-style restaurants. This event not only well preserves local ancient legacies but also successfully broadcasts these historical sites to more visitors.

Figure.3 Taipei Story House

Figure.4 Lin-An-Tai Historical House

3.1.5 Urban transportation and renewal

Unlike the majority of previous Flora Expo, 2010 Taipei Flora Expo was staged in the centre area. Therefore, transportation may be taken into the essential consideration. In order to provide tourists with convenient transport network, Taipei government improved the construction of public transportation, including rerouting bus system, enhancing pedestrian system as well as increasing bike lanes. During the festival, visitors can enjoy free shuttle buses around four event venues, use adjacent public fee-paying parking lot and take the MRT to other places.

3.2 Negative impacts

Mega events have often attracted criticism for their perceived negative impacts on sensitive locations (Greenpeace, 2004). Adverse environmental effects such as destruction of the host surroundings, noise disturbances, pollution and disruption of legacy caused by large-scale festivals are always the critical themes remained a significant concern. These impacts may become much severe if the festival takes place in an outdoor public area like a square, street or park. Some opposite positive environmental impacts of 2010 Taipei Flora Expo will be integrated as below.

3.2.1 Litter problems

A considerable amount of waste produced by festivals is always a persistent problem troubled the local authority. Taipei government had hoped to popularize the idea of environmental protection through the expo, however, it seemed to have no obvious effect. The reason why litter management of this expo failed can be attributed to its environmental policy. Taipei government specifically made strict rules to prohibit littering, but strangely, it didn’t install enough refuse and recycling bins around the host zones, so that festival goers could not find rubbish bins as easily as possible. As a result, it can be seen that garbage was still tossed by the side of host venues. Figure.5變電箱上的垃圾 偉大文明的野蠻展示(黃孫權)

In terms of litter management, Glastonbury festival is a successful model of waste volume reduction for other events to learn. This festival makes greater efforts to efficiently clean the rubbish caused by the event on the host community and thoroughly implements its strategies of reducing rubbish. Hence, remarkable reductions have been recorded in the past three years by taking stronger control of the items brought on spot by staff, sponsors and entrepreneurs – and by focusing on their obligation to remove items brought on spot. Moreover, the event managers of Glastonbury festival annually recruit recycling volunteers to collect litters and separate the recyclables (Glastonbury Festival Ltd, 2000). 3.2.2 Air Pollution

In an event-related study Lóránt (2009) indicates that air pollution generated by the festival can cause bad impacts on the natural environment, particularly CO2 emissions from the transport exhaust. Due to 2010 Taipei Flora Expo taking place in the downtown, the provision of solid transportation network was the efficient way to manage the crowded visitors. However, CO2 emissions from vehicles, buses and other motors lowered the air quality of Taipei city. table.2 energy consumption for one passenger kilometer (Halmay et al., 2006)

From the diagram, it can be obviously seen that walking and cycling consumed the lowest energy use. Although the host organisers highly promoted the advantages of cycling and walking during the event, the practical implementation was still be very challenging.

4. Conclusion

After reviewing literatures and books in relation to the environmental impact, it can be proved that physical effects of festivals, no matter positive or negative ones, may have immediate influences on the environment. Before conducting large-scale events, the crucial step toward success is to assess environmental impacts through the analysis of environmental impact assessment. By doing so, the majority of event organizers can forecast and evaluates possible potential impacts of projects on the local environment and then can make the event going on smoothly. In addition, with the heated discussion about environmental sustainability, it seems a global trend that most of event holders currently have been attempting to apply the principle of sustainability into their events and taking measures to do the minimum of environmental damage.

Looking into the future, relevant research and studies of events suggest that environmental conscious events will be more prevalent in the coming two decades. As a result, more and more festivals are expected to place great emphasis on the sustainable development within projects. Mega events play a vital role in cultivating understanding of environmental issues, arousing awareness and generating resources. 2010 Taipei International Flora Expo, the first mega festival held by Taiwan, demonstrated Taiwan’s ambition to encounter the world event industry. How to effectively address negative environmental impacts of the expo and how to keep the positive consequences continuing developing are the primary task for Taipei government to review. 2010 Taipei Flora Expo can be regard as the preparation for the next mega event – 2017 Universiade.

4. Reference
Andrea, C., Calvin, J., Max, M., 2008. Assessing the environmental impacts of mega sporting events: Two options. Tourism Management, 30(6). Available from: [Accessed 25 October 2012] Benders, R. M. J., Moll, H. C., Nijdam, D. S., 2012. From energy to environmental analysis: improving the resolution of the environmental impact of Dutch private consumption with hybrid analysis. Journal of Industrial Ecology. Available from: [Accessed 25October 2012] Brain J, M., Marlene, F., 1994. A CASE STUDY OF A TOURISM SPECIAL EVENT: AN ANALYSIS OF AN AMERICAN STATE FAIR. Festival Management & Event Tourism, 2 (2), p.75-83 David, L.,2009. Events and Tourism: An Environmental Approach Impact Assessment. Journal of Tourism Challenges & Trends, Vol. 2 Issue 2, p101-113. Chris, R., Alan, S., Sharon, M and Don, G., 1998. NEW ZEALAND EVENTS: A TEMPORAL AND REGIONAL ANALYSIS. Festival Management & Event Tourism, 5 (1/2), p.71-83 Evans, W.A., 1994. Approaches to intelligent information retrieval. Information processing and management, 7 (2), 147-168. Gemma, G., Peter, R., 2009. A Critical Comparative Study of Visitor Motivations For Attending Music Festival: A Case Study of Glastonbury and V Festival. Event Management , 13

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