January 16, 2011

Better City, Better Life

The corporate pavilions at the 2010 Shanghai Expo were more interesting than the country ones, showcasing some advanced technology. Most of it was centered around new forms of multimedia that will immerse the user completely in a digital world. With more in depth exhibits than the national ones, the city pavilions featured detailed case studies on sustainable development. As the Chinese move in droves to cities from the countryside, the overarching theme of "Better City, Better Life" further encouraged this migration.

The grounds were excellently designed, the transportation system adequate, and the crowds spectacularily large. Both my visits were in the middle of the work week on rainy days, but I had to wait for around an hour at the airport-like security check area before entering the World's Fair. Running from May 1 to Oct 31, 2010, daily visits reached over 1 million as China's showcase to the world neared its later stages.

Other figures behind the grand gathering of the world's cultures are equally astounding:
  • 73 million visitors
  • 80,000 volunteers
  • 1 ridiculous mascot
  • 5.28 square kilometers
  • 246 participants