London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park: sustainable urban neighbourhood

  • Case Studies
  • 25 July 2018

ENGIE is a community of Imaginative Builders. Each of them is an essential part in the innovations of tomorrow, each of them has the same desire to develop and deploy solutions to achieve more harmonious progress and a more harmonious world, making a useful contribution (#caring) and being open (#open) to a positive human revolution.






While we are looking at the city of tomorrow, here’s a chance to meet two Imaginative Builders who are making their contribution to the success of the harmonious project of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London.

London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, originally designed to host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, has become a sustainable and eco-responsible urban neighbourhood. A power plant built and operated by ENGIE which transforms waste wood into energy provides the neighbourhood’s daily needs in heating, air-conditioning and electricity, with a significant reduction in CO2 emissions. To ensure a quality living environment, teams on site ensure the upkeep of the park and its amenities as well as performing numerous other facilities management services.


Adèle Lefebvre : “The park is a buzzing area and the project has helped rejuvenate the neighbourhood.”


One of the principles of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park transformation project was that residents of the neighbourhood should feel proud of the project and through it, develop a strong feeling of identifying with a part of the city requiring regeneration. In this context, ENGIE has formed a partnership with a community interest company, Our Parklife, which is performing a number of missions with the local community, in particular managing volunteers who want to get involved on an occasional or regular basis in maintaining the green spaces, assisting visitors and organising events at the site. Working with Our Parklife, Adèle Lefebvre, a French thirty-something, manages a team of over 700 volunteers.


What is it that makes the project you are working on different?

There are two things that make this project different: first of all the originality of Our Parklife, a social enterprise working in the interest of the community living close to the park, and in addition, the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park project in itself is something that has never been seen before in the United Kingdom.


What is your contribution to the harmonious Queen Elizabeth Park project?

I manage the volunteers on a day-to-day basis, but that also means looking for new contracts and forging relations with the local community so that the volunteers can take advantage of the best opportunities offered by the Park and derive a sustainable benefit. Some days I may be in the office dealing with insurance and data protection, and the next I’m at a concert with a team of 50 volunteers. We are constantly trying to go further, the Park is constantly developing.


Why do you believe in this project?

There have already been a number of great stories through this project. We have some volunteers, for instance, who have helped us lay on a transport service in the park using golf carts to make it accessible to everyone, and this initiative was really appreciated by the community. There have also been volunteers with difficult backgrounds who have found work after getting involved in our projects, it’s made a very concrete impact. The park is a buzzing area and the project has helped rejuvenate the neighbourhood.


How does that contribute to harmonious progress?

Volunteering is a way of giving back to the community what it provides you with, and it’s also a way of enabling people to meet and creating genuine links between them.


What does it mean for you to be an Imaginative Builder?

For me, an Imaginative Builder is someone who uses their expertise to deal with every situation that occurs and who works in collaboration with other experts to create new and innovative solutions and to meet the customer’s needs.



How are you working with the other Imaginative Builders on this project?


I work in close contact with other ENGIE employees, but also with visitors, the LLDC (*) and other companies involved in the park. On a daily basis I’m able to draw on the varied expertise of ENGIE when I need it, whether in terms of mobility or for certain events, as well as on technical issues.


What’s the most important thing in your work and in your life?

When you love what you do and you love the company you’re working for, your work becomes a pleasure. My current job is challenging, but I adore it!
*The London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) is responsible for running, developing, managing and maintaining the Park as well as its impact on the neighbourhood following the 2012 London Olympic Games.


Perry Cook: all cities can be made sustainable





The new neighbourhood enjoys top-quality services. Through tri-generation, heating, air-conditioning and electricity are all provided using local biomass locale. Perry Cook, an engineer at ENGIE, is a member of the team that maintains the on-site energy production system.


What is it that makes the project you are working on different?

We supply green energy to a neighbourhood that bears the legacy of the Olympics and Paralympics. It’s an enormous project which is both virtuous for the environment and important for the legacy of this event which marked the world. The Olympic Park project is developing the best possible technology. I work in a neighbourhood that is more efficient in terms of energy production and has a positive effect on climate change. Energy transition is a key sector in which we have to invest for the future.


How does that contribute to harmonious progress?

All parts of society win: we are producing low-carbon autonomous and decentralised energy. And this project has an international impact because it’s happening in the same place as the Games. This model can be applied everywhere, far beyond this Park. Green energy is gaining ground every day. It’s important to highlight the social impact we have here, to inspire other people and give them the desire to do the same thing, because it has to be done on a larger scale and I’m proud that we’re talking about it!


How are you working with the other Imaginative Builders on this project?

I work every day with experts to find solutions. We have a community that is really effective in evaluating what we do and very good relations with the Park’s service providers and colleagues.


What other harmonious projects can be envisaged with this technology?

All cities can be made sustainable. It may be expensive to begin with, but it’s worth it in the long term: less CO2 emissions and less climate change!


Source: Engie



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