Today, with more than half of the planet’s population living in urban environments, humanity is at a historic and critical juncture: the unprecedented concentration of populations and resources in cities and towns have opened doors to a host of both new possibilities and challenges for development.
Cities have historically served as fertile grounds for human innovation and advancement, thanks to the infrastructure, resources, outlets, and opportunities in place that encourage research, creativity, or entrepreneurship.
At the same time, unfortunately, cities have also been known to give rise to a number of problems: pollution, unmanaged population growth, excessive waste generation, and unsustainable energy consumption, for example. When poorly managed, cities become incubators of conflict and human suffering, generating poverty, environmental deterioration, exclusion, and negligence of human rights, among others.
It is precisely for this potential of cities—to benefit and harm humanity’s quest for a better and healthy future—that effectively dealing with urbanization today represents a priority in the global public agenda. As such, urban development has been the object of numerous international conferences and movements in recent years.
The 5 sub-themes of EXPO Shanghai 2010:
At the dawn of a new millennium and faced with an entirely different set of challenges and opportunities than that from our “pre-urbanized” era, the way we manage our cities will make all the difference in not only our present ability to prosper and make choices freely but that of our future generations.
One of the most pressing questions of our time then is this: How can we act upon the enormous potential of cities for development, while meeting the challenges posed by them? EXPO Shanghai 2010 aims to respond to this question during its 6 months from May 1 to October 31, 2010. It will draw on the experiences of the 189 participating countries and 57 international organizations, as well as those of the numerous cities, corporations, and others represented at the Expo, to share with the over 70 million visitors expected a global vision of a sustainable development of cities.
For more, please visit our page "The Theme Makes the Expo"