Brisbane readies for sustainable Olympic games

The capital of Queensland is focusing on urban redevelopment and sustainable mobility to prepare for the 2032 Games

Brisbane is the third most populous city in Australia, and it has long had a special affinity to holding major events. After hosting the 1982 Commonwealth Games, the 1988 World Expo, and the Goodwill Games final in 2001, it is now the city’s long-awaited turn to prepare for the biggest of them all: the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

With 2032 steadily approaching, of Queensland is already hard at work getting its capital city ready for the summer games spectacle.

There’s less than 10 years to go until the games begin, and both the Queensland State Government and the Australian National Government are preparing to play, with both unveiling their detailed plans for Brisbane’s urban development – but the key to these developments is sustainability.

The emphasis is on redevelopment rather than construction, with a focus on major infrastructure projects.

New Infrastructure for Brisbane and Queensland

The redevelopment of current infrastructure in Brisbane goes hand-in-hand with the construction of modern infrastructure, all of which aligns with the city’s development plan focused on sustainable mobility and improving livability of the city for its people.

Combined, the governments are set to invest over AU$7 billion – a significant sum, but far less than the tens of billions spent preparing cities for previous Olympic Games, comparatively, the Russia and China Games each cost approximately US$50B and USD$38.5B respectively.

The decision to redevelop was made with the aim of hosting a more environmentally sustainable Olympics by minimising waste and reducing pollution, to support the growth of Australian cities whilst working to achieve the Australian Government’s Net Zero 2050 plan.

For the Brisbane Olympics, the most notable of the redevelopment projects planned is the Brisbane Cricket Ground, better known as the Gabba, the major sporting stadium in Woolloongabba.

The Gabba’s redevelopment is part of an ambitious program to revitalise the entire suburb, including the addition of a new metro station to be part of the Cross River Rail, the city’s first underground rail line. An additional 10 kilometers of track and six new stations will be added to the Cross River Rail to connect the stadia and Olympic attractions by train.

Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, explained: “It means the Gabba will be a two-minute train ride from a new Albert Street station in the CBD.”

The Gabba, which was inaugurated in 1895, is expected to be knocked down and rebuilt ahead of the Games, with additional venues also being upgraded and constructed around the city, including a new Brisbane Live entertainment arena that will seat up to 18,000 people and host a swimming pool for the Olympic Games.

The Impact of the Olympic Games

Major global events always require public infrastructure investments and offer significant economic opportunities.

The estimated impact from the Games is a return of AU$8.1 billion for Queensland, and the creation of 91,600 jobs over the next 20 years.