The Olympic games are an international tradition that have their roots in Roman times. These games are the world’s linchpin. They are something that connects us all to one another.
Some of you might not know this, or even have been born at the time, but in 1996 Atlanta had the honor or hosting these games. The 1996 Olympic games were highly eventful, and left an impact on Atlanta that can still be experienced today. Probably the most visible impact that was left is Centennial Olympic Park.
This park is probably one of Atlanta’s most active parks. It is constantly putting on concerts, such as “Party in the Park.” It also has fountains to enjoy and cool off in, fields, festivals, an ice skating rink (only in the winter), and it is conveniently located downtown, so you are never in need of a place to go eat.
Centennial is a point of pride for Atlanta. The airport has a mural of it, it is in a lot of our tourism adverts, and it is just generally well-known. This place is totally unique to this city, and is beloved by the population here. The park’s construction was even partially funded by residents who paid to have their names carved onto bricks in the park. It is definitely a great place to go.
Whether you are visiting the city, or have lived here your whole life, Centennial Olympic park is the place to be, especially now. It is a great way to view and experience some of our city’s history, as well as have a good time. In 1996 the whole world saw the park on their televisions. Now it is time to go and visit it in real life.
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OnAir says: You know what else was great about the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta? They prompted a city-wide clean air effort that would become The Clean Air Campaign! And yeah, we kinda like those guys. Click here to learn a little more about how that went down.
As many of you sports fans know, it is now the time of reckoning for many in the 2012 Olympic Games located in London. For those who keep track, a major problem in the 2008 games in Beijing was the amount of air pollution and it dismal effects upon the athletes and tourists—such as smog and harshness to breath. As of now, the city of London is taking extra precautions to reduce the amount of pollution that the visitors will be experiencing with the leading levels of Nitrogen Oxides (NOx).
Some programs are initiated that travel around the city to spray a mixture that can soak up the amount of smog that fills the roadways in order to reduce the amount that has vaporized into the air.
Other actions taken by local environmentalist groups are trying to persuade companies to install filter caps onto the mufflers of transportation vehicles and company cars that are a leading factor of carbon emissions. Similarly, on the ground level people are now trading their boilers out for more efficient and environmentally friendly device that reduce the amounts NOx released while in use. All of these actions are in hopes to fulfill the city’s new program of Low Emission Zone for the pollution levels.
Also, companies are installing bike racks and designating other areas for specific use as a
placement for people’s bikes. Since this trend has started, the amount of customers and employees that use their bikes have increased dramatically. Likewise, the large law firm of Simmons and Simmons has started a program called Walk to Client, which allows the attorneys to use certain social media and communications to organize themselves and agree on a set location that is within walking distances for both parties.
So what can we learn from this? Simple: Try the same tactics. Now realize that it doesn’t have to scale large factories and law offices. It could, but you can start simply with your friends. Suggest that you all meet somewhere and that you are all going to bike there, or skateboard, or even just walk. You could even try petitioning the idea of installing some bike rakes and some of your favorite places. The biggest mistake anyone ever made was not trying. Give it a whirl, you might be surprised what happens.
We talk a lot about improving air quality and reducing air pollution but many of you may wonder why we are motivated to talk about these things.
As Georgia’s population continues to grow, so does the traffic congestion and air quality challenges. The Clean Air Campaign is a not-for- profit organization that empowers Georgians to take action to improve air quality and reduce traffic congestion. The Clean Air Campaign focuses on both congestion and air quality because they are linked-vehicle emissions are a major contributor to smog formation.
The Clean Air Campaign was launched in 1996 by government , business, civic, health, environmental and educational organizations, after a phenomenon during the Olympics provided a glimpse of what a difference individual actions can make. During the 1996 Olympics, efforts in Atlanta to reduce traffic succeeded in not just reducing congestion, but improving the health of children with asthma. After bringing in more buses and subway cars, and encouraging ride sharing and telecommuting during the Summer Olympic Games, theses actions helped to significantly reduce ground-level ozone pollution, which resulted in considerably lower rates of childhood asthma events for children aged 1-16.
Today in metro Atlanta, The Clean Air Campaign and its partners have reduced 1.4 million vehicle mile and kept 700 tons of pollution out of the air. Our programs and resources have helped save Georgians more than $150 million every year on gas and vehicle expenses. What do you think about the actions The Clean Air Campaign has taken to improve the air we breathe?
For more information visit our website http://www.cleanaircampaign.org/.