What are your impressions of the design for the Beijing Olympics?

"I agree in principle with the 'return to nature' theme that Beijing has gone with, but I've got a horrible feeling that London will try to go down the green route for the reason that it's politically correct to do so. You can go too far just to make a point, and while it seems to have worked in Beijing, I don't think that point needs to be made here. "In China you are getting very cheap labour but that might be people with little or no training - I want to make sure it's all done properly in London and that's a real priority for me."

James Coles, managing director, James Coles & Sons Nurseries

"The scale is much bigger than we see in this country and the Chinese are literally moving mountains - all that is very impressive.

"I really liked the way Professor Hu talked about embedding the Chinese culture in the design. We have such a cultural tradition here and we need to embrace that Britishness in our design.

"It would be interesting if we could make cultural references in our design, as the Chinese have done, perhaps with references to Shakespeare."

Will Reed, principal consultant, Glendale Environmental

 

"The way China's culture was reflected took a lot of care and I think that should happen in London. It's important to make a real connection and we should be inspired by what the Chinese have done.

"Using the water, rocks and mountain symbolism in the design of the Forest Park is so meaningful for Chinese people, and I'm fairly confident from having seen the first master-plan for London that considerable importance has been given to creating something meaningful for us."

Greg McErlean, project director, The Royal Parks

"I was impressed by the Beijing Olympic landscaping presentation. I am hoping that the ODA learns from it and organises itself in time.

"Obviously China expected to get the 2000 Olympics and held everything over for eight years, which gave them an advantage as the plants were ready for 2000.

"The good thing from our point of view was Beijing's emphasis on creating native habitats and using indigenous species. We grow a lot of indigenous species at Crowders and it would be helpful if more native plants are used in London."

Simon Ellis, director, Crowders Nurseries.


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