Friday, June 11, 2010

Shanghai EXPO 2010: a few more photos


Shanghai EXPO 2010 is an event that is not to be missed. It is the largest World Fair in the history of the world, with 242 pavilions and an estimated 70 million people expected to attend. On a typical day there are 250,000 to 450,000 in attendance. But it doesn't feel that crowded since the EXPO site is seven and a half times the size of the Vancouver EXPO 86 site.

The theme is Better City, Better Life and the fair focuses on sustainability. All of the garbage collection is separated into recyclables and non-recyclables. But what is truly remarkable is that many of the garbage containers are self emptying...that's right, the garbage is collected through an underground pneumatic collection system!There is a lot of security...lots of soldiers at attention around the site...you are frisked as you enter by very pretty Chinese girls whose only English may be 'turn around please' and 'thank you...have a nice day'.As reported, there are often long line-ups for certain pavilions. In anticipation of the line-ups, I applied for media accreditation from Vancouver with the assistance of the Vancouver Sun. However, I arrived before my accreditation was processed. Furthermore, I was travelling on a tourist visa, rather than a working visa, so formal accreditation was not possible. If you are attending the event as media, my advice is to make your application is sent in by the sponsoring agency in plenty of time, and also make sure you have a working visa, rather than a tourist visa.

Most of the visitors are not there to see examples of green building around the world...they are there to see the spectacular site and take photos...so many people were taking so many photos I decided to buy more stock in Sandisk, the flash storage card company started by my friend Eli Harari. They are also keen to get their 'passports' stamped. Remember the EXPO 86 passports? It's a World Fair tradition.At night, the site is magnificent. It is mesmerizing to watch the buildings constantly change colours. The whole thing is quite magical. Given all there is to see in the daytime...and nighttime...I'm planning to return in September or October. (Below are the Russian Pavilion, the Chinese Pavilion, which will remain, and the inverted 'cones' that run through the site and change colours during the evening.)

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