Today, more than one in two people live in a city. By 2030, 60% of the world population will be urban. These constantly growing numbers raise important issues like social mix, sustainability, security or hygiene. Shanghai with its 23 million people is particularly concerned by these questions and therefore chose to be the first Expo to tackle urban planning and offer a place to discuss innovative solutions and new policies for the development of sustainable cities.
China's pavilion alone would be enough to understand the magnitude of the whole event: 160 000 m2 (190 000 yards2) and 69 meters (226 feet) high. It was dedicated to « Chinese wisdom in urban development », and was named « oriental crown ». It was painted in red, the colour of wealth and happiness in Chinese culture. In the building, visitors could learn about the process of urbanization in China. The main attraction of the pavilion was the «wisdom chain » that helped visitors imagine new models of urban development around the notion of respect, a crucial value in Chinese culture.
When the Expo closed its doors on October 31st 2010, the attendance confirmed the titanic size of Shanghai 2010. With 73 million visitors, the Expo broke the record of Osaka 1970 that had welcomed 64 million visitors.
Expo 2010 produced 2 important documents: the Shanghai Manual, which is a guide for sustainable development of cities and the Declaration of Shanghai. Among the principles set by the Declaration, the creation of a World Cities Day was suggested. Thanks to the joint efforts of the Chinese government, the UN and the BIE, the World Cities Day was celebrated for the first time on October 31st 2014.
The reuse of the Expo site is part of an urban plan to turn the site in a new cultural and commercial area of Shanghai. New buildings and parks have been built and new museums have opened. A major project is currently under preparation: the World Expo Museum. Scheduled to open in 2017, it will be the first Museum in the World dedicated to World Expos.