May 1 – October 31, 2010
At a time when more than half of the world’s population lives in urban environments, China and Shanghai welcomed in 2010 more than 73 million visitors and 246 participating governments, international organizations, and NGOs to their World Exhibition on the quality of life in cities.
EXPO Shanghai: Largest International Platform to Explore the Future of Urban Life
EXPO Shanghai 2010 – Better City, Better Life invited the international community to re-evaluate the way we live in cities and to act upon the full potential of urban life in the 21st century as humanity faces a historic turning point: more than half of the global population is concentrated in cities and towns, with the majority living in Asia and Africa.
China as a Host: Bridge Between Two Worlds
With its understanding of the needs of developing nations, China, through the Expo, aspires to serve as a bridge between the developed world and the developing world. Lacking the resources to cope with the scale and pressures of urbanization, developing countries are most severely affected by it. China’s goal for the Expo is to provide a global rallying point for innovation in urban best practices to be shared by all.
Shanghai: A Window Into a New Urban Future
A booming cosmopolitan city in the most populous country in the world, undergoing one of the most dramatic economic expansions of our age, Shanghai’s engagement takes part of a worldwide mobilization to create cities that are better equipped to meet the challenges of our urbanized age.
Better City, Better Life
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.
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.
The 5 sub-themes of EXPO Shanghai 2010:
- “Blending of Diverse Cultures in the City”
- “Economic Prosperity in the City”
- “Innovation of Science and Technology in the City”
- “Remodelling of Communities in the City”
- “Interactions Between Urban and Rural Areas”
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? The Shanghai Declaration of the World Expo 2010 which was jointly issued by participant nations, regions and international organizations at the Summit Forum on the sidelines of the Expo tryed to give an answer.
It calls upon the world to pursue the efforts were undertaken in the Shanghai Expo: to promote sustainable urban development, to foster cooperation and exchanges among cities and regions, and to share experiences and lessons in urbanization.
The Declaration proposes to undertake initiatives for knowledge sharing and capacity building for cities around the world as they tackle the economic, social and environmental challenges of the 21st century. One such initiative will create educational materials for future city planners and managers by compiling the intellectual contributions of the Shanghai Expo.
October 31st, the day of the closing ceremony of World Expo 2010 Shanghai China, has been nominated as World Better Cities Day, so that the ideas and practices of the Shanghai Expo will be recalled, renewed and advanced in the future, inspiring humankind in its enduring pursuit of urban innovation and harmonious development.
Download the Shanghaï Declaration - 31.10.2010 (chinese, english, french)
For more information: http://en.expo2010.cn/