Poland, United States and Argentina present Specialised Expo projects

During the 161st General Assembly of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) on 14 June 2017, delegates of Member States were presented with the Expo projects by the three candidates for Specialised Expo 2022/23: Poland (Łódź), the United States (Minneapolis) and Argentina (Buenos Aires).

The General Assembly was the first opportunity for Member States to hear from all three candidates, following the closing of the candidate list on 15 December 2016. The candidates submitted their respective bid dossiers in February 2017, and BIE Enquiry Missions were carried out in March and April.

Minneapolis

The United States was the first to take the podium, with an introduction from Ambassador Gilles Noghes, former President of the BIE General Assembly and advisor to Minnesota’s Expo project. Mark Ritchie, President of the Minnesota World’s Fair Bid Committee, then told delegates about the support of the Federal Government for the Expo project, adding that “it has drawn key support from across our country.”

Mark Ritchie, President of the Minnesota World’s Fair Bid Committee,

Regarding the proposed theme. “Healthy People, Healthy Planet: Health and Well Being for All”, Mr. Ritchie argued that healthcare is a top priority for humankind, and that Minnesota is an ideal location to organise the Expo due to its status and as a centre for the healthcare and medical industries. He added that the theme “recognises the inter-relationship between people and the planet, and the importance of keeping both healthy – you cannot have one without the other.” Retired Mayo Clinic physician Dr. Patricia Simmons outlined the United States’ vision for the Expo, telling delegates that the event could have a global impact by promoting healthy lifestyles and sharing knowledge on healthcare.

Buenos Aires

Argentina’s Expo project was presented by Hernán Lombardi, the Minister for Public Media and Contents System, who expressed his country’s “enthusiasm” for organising the Expo in Buenos Aires. The Minister told delegates that if Argentina is elected as host country, it would be “the first Expo in Latin America”, adding that the project has the full backing of the Government. Furthermore, as an existing science and technology park, the proposed Expo site already boasts its own infrastructure and is well-connected to the city.

Hernán Lombardi, the Minister for Public Media and Contents System of the Government of Argentina

With regard to the proposed theme of the Expo, “Science, Innovation, Art and Creativity for Human Development. Creative industries in Digital Convergence”, Mr. Lombardi emphasised “the power of ideas to have a tangible impact on the lives of people and on economic development.” According to Argentina’s Expo vision, the proposed theme would allow the Expo to focus on creative industries as producers of solutions for society.

Łódź

Introducing Poland’s Expo project, Paweł Lewandowski, Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, elaborated on the proposed theme “City Re:Invented”. The Deputy Minister explained that Poland wants to share its experiences – its models and mistakes –and that: “we want the world to show us how it intends to change the cities for the people.”

The Mayor of Łódź, Hanna Zdanowska

Continuing in the line of the theme, French architect and urbanist Francis Nordemann evoked the many challenges facing urban areas today, arguing that: “cities must be built upon cities… we must focus on the regeneration of urban settlements.” The Mayor of Łódź, Hanna Zdanowska, concluded Poland’s presentation, telling the General Assembly about the Łódź’s own experience and claiming that after once losing hope, revitalisation has allowed her city to “find its smile again.” The Polish delegation also gave assurances that the Expo project has the full backing of local, regional and national authorities, and enjoys wide support from the population.

 

The three candidates will continue to promote their respective Expo projects until the 162nd General Assembly of the BIE in November 2017, when Member States of the BIE will vote for the host country of Specialised Expo 2022/23.

Łódź prepares ground for Expo 2022 bid

The Polish city of Łódź is ramping up its preparations for a potential bid for the International Specialised Expo to be held in 2022 or 2023. On 12 May 2016, a delegation from the Government of Poland met with the Secretary General of the BIE, Vicente G. Loscertales, in a visit to the BIE headquarters. The delegation was led by Radosław Domagalski-Łabędzki, Deputy Minister of Economic Development, accompanied by Andrzej Byrt, Ambassador of Poland to France and Monaco.

The potential bid would be based around the theme ‘the reinvention of the city’, as local authorities see Expo 2022/23 as being part of a long-term project to develop the New Centre of Łódź. The Expo would make use of existing venues in the area including the city’s Grand Theatre, the EC1 cultural centre and the campus of the University of Łódź.

Lodz 2022 bid

The proposed Expo theme reflects the city’s own journey: having historically been an industrial centre, Łódź faced an economic decline in the 1990s and embarked on an urban renewal policy, with a notable focus on the quality of life of its residents. Former textile factories have been transformed into offices and leisure facilities, and the city’s mayor, Hanna Zdanowska, has emphasised the development of infrastructure for the ‘free-time industry’.

In early 2016, Łódź launched a campaign to encourage support for the bid project, with images of the Expo project being displayed around the city since 1 April.

In accordance with BIE regulations, the government of a country wishing to organise an International Specialised Expo can only submit its candidature a maximum of six years and a minimum of five years before the opening date of that Expo, but once a candidate files its bid to the BIE for an Expo, the other candidates have a maximum of six months to state their intention to compete for the same Expo.

Poland was a founding member of the BIE in 1928, although it left the organisation between 1950 and 1960. The country has never hosted an Expo, but it has participated in many World and International Expos. Łódź is Poland’s third largest city with a population of over 700,000.

More information on the bid project can be found on its Facebook page: www.facebook.com/LodzExpo2022/

Minneapolis eyes Expo 2023 bid in visit to BIE

A delegation from the U.S. city of Minneapolis visited the BIE headquarters in Paris on 11 May 2016 as part of preparations for a potential bid for the International Specialised Expo to be held in 2022 or 2023. The BIE Secretary General, Vicente G. Loscertales, met with the delegation to discuss the bid.

The proposed theme for the Expo is ‘Wellness and Well Being For All’, building on Minneapolis’ reputation as a centre for healthcare and its status as one of the United States’ healthiest cities. The idea for the Expo bid is the result of private-public partnership, with bi-partisan support and the Bid Committee being funded by the private sector.

“Expo 2023 will showcase Minnesota’s global leadership in a wide range of economic, social and civic arenas, including healthcare and wellness,” stated Mark Ritchie, the Director of the Bid Committee. The mayor of Minneapolis, Betsy Hodges, and the President of the City Council, Barbara Johnson, both threw their support behind the bid campaign in 2015. In a joint letter, Hodges and Johnson stated that “when the world visits Minneapolis, it will experience the way we embrace the outdoors during every season and witness the way we value infrastructure that encourages healthy behaviours.”

2016 05 minnesota visit

From left to right: Jake Juliot (Meet Minneapolis), Michael Rainville (Meet Minneapolis), Vicente G. Loscertales (Secretary General, BIE), Barbara Johnson (President of Minneapolis City Council), Melvin Tennant (President & CEO, Meet Minneapolis Convention & Visitors Association), Dimitri Kerkentzes (Deputy Secretary General, BIE).

The Bid Committee claims that the Expo could attract between 10 and 15 million tourists to Minnesota, with overseas visitors expected to spend $4 billion. An Expo bid would form part of the city’s aim to attract talent and foreign investment, and to promote science and technology-related jobs.

In accordance with BIE regulations, the government of a country wishing to organise an International Specialised Expo can only submit its candidature a maximum of six years and a minimum of five years before the opening date of that Expo, but once a candidate files its bid to the BIE for an Expo, the other candidates have a maximum of six months to state their intention to compete for the same Expo.

Since the foundation of the BIE, the United States has hosted two World Expos and four International Specialised Expos, the last of which was held in New Orleans in 1984. The United States became a member of the BIE in 1968 but left in 2001. The rules stipulate that Member States are given priority over non-Member States for the organisation of an Expo, and that in the absence of a candidate from a Member State, bids from non-Member States require a two-thirds majority in any round of voting to secure the right to organise the Expo.

Minneapolis is the largest city in the U.S. State of Minnesota. The city adjoins State capital Saint Paul, with the combined urban area having a population of 3.8 million.

For more information on the bid project: http://expo2023.info/