With more than 190 countries and 50 organisations signing up, Expo 2010 Shanghai China (中國2010年上海世界博覽會) will be the world’s biggest fair and international exposition. Projections are estimating that 70 million people will visit Expo 2010.
Theme of Expo 2010
The theme for Expo 2010 is “Better City – Better Life” (城市，讓生活更美好). This theme captures the reality today that more people are now living in cities. Expo 2010 provides an opportunity for people from all over the world to share their views on city planning and urban development for the betterment of the people that live within them. In particular, Expo 2010 aims to explore how best to blend different cultures within a city, promote economic, scientific and technological advances within cities, and redefine the urban/rural divide.
Logo and Mascot of Expo 2010
The logo for Expo 2010 is not the most creative or visually appealing logo I have ever seen. It derives from the Chinese character「世」meaning “world”. The three people symbolise 「你、我、他」, which is “you, me, them”, a notion of people promoting togetherness. The mascot isn’t any better in my opinion. It looks like something from a Colgate advertisement. Its name is 「海寶」(Haibao) and comprises of the word 「人」for person and a splash of energetic and lively blue. I’m not convinced, but if you are, they are available for sale everywhere in any manner of form, size and material. There is the usual stuffed toy but also there are talking and singing ones too that can do it in both Chinese and English.
Scale of Expo 2010
The sheer scale of Expo 2010 is phenomenal, and reflects just how strong the economic dragon is. It is without a doubt that the full economic might of China is right behind this project. From the site construction itself to all other ancillary expenses including new airport terminals, metro lines and so on, the Chinese government has reportedly spend close to US$45 billion on Expo 2010. This value outdoes even the amount spent on the Beijing Olympics. The size of the Expo 2010 main site is extraordinary and record breaking. Located on both sides of the Huang River in Pudong (浦東) and Puxi (浦西) between the Lupu and Nanpu bridges, the total size of the exhibition area is 5.3 square kilometres, of which 3.3 square kilometres requires admission. In comparison, the size of Sydney CBD to Central bordering Wattle Street to the west and the Botanic Gardens to the east is only 6.2 square kilometres. Expo 2010 is almost three times larger than Expo 2005 held in Aichi Prefecture (愛知県), Japan. This site is the largest ever Expo site. It is so big that 5 metro stations will be within 600 metres distance of the entry points into the site.
Architecture of Expo 2010
Within the site boasts structures of magnificent architecture. There is none more so than the Expo Axis (世博軸) and 陽光谷. This is the world’s largest membrane construction of connected glass funnels that measures 100m wide and stretches for one kilometre to the Huang River. There are two underground sections to this strip, which contain the shops, offices, transport and support services for the entire site. The Expo Axis forms the centrepiece of the Pudong Expo area that connects the four main buildings including the China Pavillion (中國國家館).
Volunteers of Expo 2010
Volunteers were called upon to help in the running of this event from last year. In total there will be 170,000 volunteers for Expo 2010 helping in areas including promotion, crowd control, information, translation and emergency services. Their motto is「世界在你眼前，我們在你身邊」(At Your Service at EXPO). Shanghai has done much to clean up its (lack of) English problems and promote the use of English through the city.
Attending Expo 2010
For those interested in going to Expo 2010 there are nine ticket types to choose from, ranging from standard day, peak day, evening only and group tickets. Refer to their website for more details. The price of a standard day ticket (for all days but 19 designated peak days) is around RMB160. The Shanghai Expo 2010 will run for 185 days from May 1 to October 31 2010. The official website for the Shanghai Expo 2010 is here.
Source: Wikipedia and Expo 2010 official site.