Host City 2016 conference looks to the future of global events

The Deputy Secretary General of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), Dimitri Kerkentzes, has participated in global events conference ‘Host City 2016’, being held on 21-22 November in Glasgow, the United Kingdom.

The conference, which gathers over 50 experts in the field of major events, ranging from logistics and security to marketing, branding and tourism, is being held under the theme “Creating Safe and Engaging Events.” Organisers and promoters of global events are faced with new challenges and opportunities, with new trends in the digital era changing public expectations but also providing new means of engagement.

The Deputy Secretary General of the BIE, Dimitri Kerkentzes, speaking at Host City 2016

Mr. Kerkentzes represented the BIE on a panel discussion entitled “What does the future hold for major global events?”. Panelists focused their attention on good governance, legacy and public opinion, security, and communicating major events in the age of digital media.

Emphasising the scale of World Expos, which attract more visitors than any other global event, the Deputy Secretary General stated that the BIE must provide a framework that protects the rights of host countries and international participants, and that guarantees the quality and success of these world events. The Expo experience “should educate and entertain visitors by offering engaging and immersive activities around the theme of the Expo”, according to Mr. Kerkentzes, who added that “public engagement in an Expo is key to ensuring its success. This can be ensured by captivating and engaging the public from an early phase, taking them on a journey that continues through to the Expo and into its legacy.”

The Chief Operating Officer of Expo 2020 Dubai, Simon Clegg, was also on the panel, offering attendees an insight into Dubai’s experience as it prepares to host the next World Expo.

Known as “the largest international meeting of cities and sports, business and cultural events”, the Host City Conference and Exhibition has been organised on an annual basis since 2014. It is attended by city representatives, event organisers, suppliers, and those who hold the rights to organise global events.

BIE carries out Technical Visit to Dubai

The Secretary General of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), Vicente G. Loscertales, is carrying out a Technical Visit in Dubai to review progress made for World Expo 2020.

The two-day visit, which is taking place on 14-15 November, includes a meeting with Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General of Expo 2020 Dubai, as well as with His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee and Chairman of Dubai Airports and Emirates Airline. Separate meetings are being held with those responsible for Expo 2020 Dubai’s site operations, international participation, infrastructure projects, culture, and communications activities.

BIE Secretary General Vicente G. Loscertales meets with His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee and Chairman of Dubai Airports and Emirates Airline

The visit is an opportunity for the Secretary General to inspect the site of the Expo in Dubai South, where construction is now underway on the Expo Village. Early works are set to be completed by the end of this year, with construction of the Thematic Districts due to begin in 2017. In keeping with one of Expo 2020 Dubai’s three sub-themes – Sustainability – 90% of the materials used for permanent construction on the Expo site will be reused or repurposed after the event.

After visiting the site, Mr. Loscertales congratulated organisers on the advanced stage of preparations, with less than four years to go until the Expo opens. “While construction is in its early phase, we can already see the Expo site taking shape. In the build-up to the Expo, it is equally important that Expo 2020 Dubai pursues its efforts to capture the imagination of individuals and continue to engage governments, organisations and companies around the world”, commented the BIE Secretary General.

In May, Expo 2020 Dubai held its first International Planning Meeting, gathering 132 countries and organisations interested in the Expo, and the participant list has since grown. After Switzerland, Slovakia, Luxembourg, Greece, Italy – the host of Expo 2015 Milan – and Indonesia have officially confirmed their participation in the next World Expo. Organisers of Expo 2020 expect at least 180 international participants – a number that includes countries and international organisations.

Expo 2020 Dubai is being organised under the theme ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, and will be open between 20 October 2020 and 10 April 2021.

Closing ceremony for Expo 2016 Antalya

Horticultural Expo 2016 drew to a close yesterday in the city of Antalya, Turkey. The A1 category International Horticultural Exhibition, which was organised under the theme 'Flowers and Children', welcomed over 4.5 million visitors.

Closing ceremony of Expo 2016 Antalya

The closing ceremony in the Expo Congress Centre was notably attended by the Turkish Minister of Food, Agriculture and Livestock, Faruk Çelik, the President of the General Assembly of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), Steen Christensen, and the President of the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH), Bernard Oosterom.

Steen Christensen, the President of the General Assembly of the BIE

During its six-month run, visitors to Expo 2016 were drawn to the themed and the international gardens, as well as to the Urban Best Practices Area, which showcased 38 innovative solutions to modern-day problems in the area of agriculture, sustainability and environmental management. Education was mixed with entertainment as a multitude of cultural events were organised throughout the duration of the Expo, including art exhibitions, national day celebrations and shows by top international performers. Furthermore, the Expo hosted numerous conferences and seminars, including a forum held on 21 October in collaboration with cultural diplomacy organisation Liberatum.

Now that the Expo has closed, the site will be transformed into a public park to be enjoyed by locals and tourists alike. This ensures that the legacy of the Expo will live on; visitors will continue to visit the gardens, and Antalya will continue to benefit from the infrastructure and facilities developed for the Expo. The Secretary General of the BIE, Vicente G. Loscertales, stated that “Expos go down in history for the experiences they have created and for their physical legacy. The gardens created for Expo 2016 will be enjoyed by the people of Antalya for generations to come.”

Antalya Kaleiçi

The President of the General Assembly of the BIE, Steen Christensen, addressed attendees at the closing ceremony, congratulating the Turkish Government and the organisers on hosting a wonderful Expo. Mr Christensen also thanked the volunteers and the people of Antalya for contributing to the success, adding that “even in difficult times, Antalya – and Turkey – continued to welcome the world, embodying the Expo spirit which emphasises hospitality, cooperation and dialogue.”

Steen Christensen, the President of the General Assembly of the BIE hands over the flag of the BIE to the Vice-Mayor of Beijing, Cheng Hong

Expo 2016 was organised under the joint auspices of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) and the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH), which held its annual conference at the Expo earlier in October. The next International Horticultural Expo will take place in Beijing, the capital of the People’s Republic of China in 2019, under the theme ‘Live Green, Live Better’. The Vice-Mayor of Beijing, Cheng Hong, was present at the ceremony in order to receive the BIE flag.

Second edition of Shanghai Manual published for World Cities Day 2016

Ahead of the World Cities Day on 31 October 2016, an updated edition of the Shanghai Manual has been published. The document, which is a practical guide for sustainable urban development in the 21st century, is one of the main thematic legacies of Expo 2010 Shanghai, alongside the Shanghai Declaration and World Cities Day.

World Cities Day 2016

The legacy of the Expo’s theme – ‘Better City, Better Life’ – was embodied in the Shanghai Declaration, a joint statement made by participating nations, regions, and international organisations. Laying out a roadmap for urban development that respects social justice, sustainability and the environment, the Shanghai Declaration also proposed the creation of World Cities Day. Aimed at drawing global attention to urbanisation and promoting cooperation to address challenges faced by all cities, World Cities Day was adopted in 2013 by the UN General Assembly, after being approved by Member States of the BIE in 2012. The date was fixed as 31 October, marking the anniversary of the closing of Expo 2010 and the Declaration of Shanghai.

China Pavilion, Expo 2010 Shanghai

To support cities in addressing these urbanisation challenges, the United Nations, the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development of China, the Shanghai Municipal Government and the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) compiled the Shanghai Manual. Drawing on lessons and outcomes from real life case studies, the Shanghai Manual is a guide for city managers looking to implement sustainable policies and meet internationally agreed upon goals.


The Shanghai Manual 2016 was launched on 18 October, at a joint forum in Quito held by the UN Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat), China’s Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development and the Shanghai Municipal Government. The new edition features revisions and improvements based on emerging approaches and lessons learned from various cities across the world. Dr. Joan Clos, the Executive Director of UN-Habitat, emphasised that updating the Shanghai Manual is “an imperative task”, adding that it is a living document to be continually revised.

For the Secretary General of the BIE, Vicente G. Loscertales, the Shanghai Manual “represents a concrete outcome of the rich legacy of Expo 2010 to promote sustainable urban development for a better quality of life.” Mr. Loscertales adds that the updated version of the guide “will continue to serve as a collection of experiences and expertise drawn from around the world on how we can create together a sustainable urban future.”

Will Japan bid for Expo 2025?

Osaka Prefecture is preparing a bid project to organise World Expo 2025, according to local media reports. The Government of Japan has indicated that it will consider the bid in further detail, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe telling members of the House of Representatives that hosting a World Expo in 2025 would be “a great opportunity to show the attraction of Japan to the world.”

Osaka City

An initial plan of the Expo project has been submitted to the Government by Ichiro Matsui, the Governor of Osaka Prefecture. According to media sources, the proposed theme of the project is based on health of humanity and the challenge of longevity. Yumeshima, an artificial island in Osaka Bay, has been suggested as the location of the Expo site, with the aim of attracting 30 million visitors. Osaka Prefecture estimates that the overall economic ripple effects of organising the event could reach 6 trillion yen (USD 59 billion).

Port of Osaka

In accordance with BIE regulations, the government of a country wishing to organise a World Expo can only submit its candidature a maximum of nine years and a minimum of six years before the opening date of that Expo, but the first candidate to file its bid to the BIE opens a six-month window during which other candidates need to state their intention to compete for the same Expo. The BIE has not yet received any candidatures for Expo 2025.

Japan is a founding member of the BIE, and the country’s involvement in Expos dates back to Expo 1862 in London. In 1970, Osaka Prefecture hosted Asia’s first World Expo, attracting over 64 million visitors, making it the second most visited Expo in history. Since then, Japan has organised three Specialised Expos – in Okinawa in 1975, in Tsukuba in 1985 and in Aichi in 2005 – as well as one Horticultural Expo in Osaka in 1990.

Expo 1970 Osaka

Situated at the mouth of the Yodo River, the city of Osaka is the capital of Osaka Prefecture, located within Japan’s Kansai region. The Prefecture has a population of 8.8 million, while the larger urban area has a total population of over 19 million, making it Japan’s second largest agglomeration.

Horticultural Expo 2019 Beijing unveils logo and mascots

The organisers of Expo 2019 Beijing, the next Horticultural Expo to take place after Expo 2016 Antalya, have unveiled the emblem and mascots at a launch event at the Great Wall at Badaling, Beijing, on 19 September. With less than three years until the opening of the Expo, the launch was an opportunity to draw attention to the event under the tagline ‘Blossoming at the Foot of the Great Wall’.

Horticultural Expo 2019 Beijing Logo

Dubbed ‘Flower of the Great Wall’, the logo consists of six different coloured petals surrounding a stylised image symbolising both the Great Wall of China and stamens rising. The design of the emblem conveys Expo 2019’s promotion of harmony between humans and nature, as well as the location of the Expo site, at the foot of the world famous Great Wall of China.

The logo was selected from over 1,900 designs that were submitted from across China and further afield.

Xiao Mengya and Xiao Menghua, the mascots of Expo 2019 Beijing

The two Expo mascots – Xiao Mengya (Little Bud) and Xiao Menghua (Little Flower) - are a young brother and sister inspired by traditional Chinese dolls. With rosy cheeks and dressed in gardener’s gear, the child mascots represent the growth of seeds into plants, and buds blossoming into flowers.

Little Bud and Little Flower are a meeting point of traditional Chinese culture and the theme of Expo 2019 Beijing – Live Green, Live Better. The two characters have been created to spread the message of a green lifestyle that will form a major axis of the Expo, with the mascots set to have a high degree of visibility through media appearances and classroom visits.

Expo 2019 is an A1-category International Horticultural Expo organised under the joint auspices of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) and the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH). The Expo, which will be held between 29 April and 7 October 2019, is taking place on a 960 ha site in Yanqing District in Beijing, at the foot of the Great Wall at Badaling.

Astana hosts Future Energy Forum nine months ahead of Expo opening

Astana, the capital of the Republic of Kazakhstan, hosted today the third edition of the Future Energy Forum, gathering over 250 stakeholders and experts in the field. The meeting is the last of its kind before Astana welcomes Expo 2017 in June next year, which has 'Future Energy' as its theme.

Vicente G. Loscertales, Secretary General of the BIE

The Forum was organised under the theme ‘Energy For All’, responding to the complex question of meeting the energy needs of those in the developing world, many of whom lack access to affordable, clean energy. The sessions notably focused on the development of energy efficient practices and lifestyles, promoting accessible forms of renewable energy and ending energy poverty.

The issues raised by this meeting and preceding ones will be the focus of the main Future Energy Forum, which will run throughout the course of Expo 2017. The Forum will be one of the central events of the Expo, serving as a platform for research and debate on the topic of Future Energy. Attracting participation from international organisations, the scientific community, the private sector and NGOs, it will involve workshops, conferences, round tables and debates. The Expo will also feature an Energy Best Practices Area to showcase successful and promising policies, technologies, solutions and products in line with the Expo’s theme.

Akhmentzhan Yessivmov, Chairman of the Board of Astana Expo 2017 National Company and the Minister of Energy of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Kanat Bozumbayev.

The Future Energy Forum is organised in partnership with Nazarbayev University, whose President, Shigeo Katsu, moderated the session. The opening speech was given by Akhmentzhan Yessivmov, Chairman of the Board of Astana Expo 2017 National Company, who was followed by the Secretary General of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), Vicente G. Loscertales, and the Minister of Energy of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Kanat Bozumbayev.

Emphasising the role of this pre-Expo forum, Mr. Loscertales stated that “access to energy in the developing world is a major challenge of our era, and Expo 2017 will be a unique opportunity to showcase solutions to this question. Far from being limited to developing countries, this debate has a global impact as the nature of energy means that it is intrinsically linked to the environment, economic growth, and well-being.”

The Kazakh capital is set to welcome over 5 million visitors between 10 June and 10 September 2017, with over 100 countries and international organisations expected to participate in the Expo.

XX1 Triennale di Milano draws to a close

The XX1 Triennale di Milano – the first after a 20-year absence – closes its doors today, Monday 12 September, after five months of exhibitions and events dedicated to design. While participants and the public have been invited to a closing ceremony that will take place tonight in the gardens of the Triennale, organisers are already looking towards the organisation of a 22nd Triennale di Milano in 2019.

XX1 Triennale

Organised under the theme ‘21st Century. Design After Design’, this year’s Triennale was the first to be held in different venues throughout the city of Milan and its suburbs. While still centred around the Palazzo dell’Arte – the home of the Triennale - exhibitions were organised in 19 different venues, including the Pirelli Tower, the MUDEC museum and even the former site of the World Expo 2015.

For its first edition of the 21st century, the scope of the Triennale was broadened, bringing diversity to exhibitions and incorporating modern-day issues such as globalisation, urban planning, and society’s views of gender roles and multiethnicity. A change could also be noticed in the profiles and perspectives of exhibitors, which this year included non-traditional actors such as museums, universities, design centres and non-profit groups.

Palazzo dell'Arte

A total of 27 thematic exhibitions were organised as part of the XX1 Triennale, and there were over 40 exhibitions from international participants. The theme of this year’s Triennale looked to the past, the present and the future, exploring the complex interaction between art, architecture and design in the modern era.

The Secretary General of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), Vicente G. Loscertales, has praised the successful return of the Triennale, stating that “its modernisation reflects the Triennale di Milano’s privileged role as an interpreter of society, reflecting and anticipating social, cultural and technical changes.” Mr. Loscertales added that the exhibitions of the XX1 Triennale “allow us to explore the ways in which design has evolved and offer insights into the world we live in.”

On the occasion of the closing of the XX1 Triennale, the BIE has published the 2016 edition of its Bulletin (accessible online). The BIE Bulletin is dedicated to the theme of this Triennale. Featuring accounts on the meaning of design and its interaction with art and technology in the modern era, the Bulletin compiles contributions from organisers and curators of the XX1 Triennale as well as experts in the field.

Will the UK bid for Expo 2025?

© Mark Andrew

Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) is adding its voice to calls for the UK to bid to host World Expo 2025.

The UK government outlined last year its ambitions to bring the World Expo to Britain in 2025. As a result leaders of GMCA aim to have Greater Manchester be the government’s chosen host for a potential UK bid.

Greater Manchester Combined Authority said this week it was « encouraging the government to seize the opportunity for a global shop window to demonstrate that the UK is open for business and committed to international trade following the referendum vote to leave the European Union ».

Greater Manchester’s Combined Authority of ten councils has been developing a plan and has identified a former industrial land around Tameside’s Ashton Moss, directly to the east of Manchester, as a "suitable" site to host the event.

UK Expo Site

The 110-ha site is less than 10km from Manchester city centre and within 15km of Manchester airport. This industrial land is also part of Greater Manchester’s "economic priority".

Tony Lloyd, interim Mayor of Greater Manchester, stated: “It’s more important than ever that the UK takes it places on a world stage to compete for investment, exports and visitors. World Expo 2025 would be the perfect platform on which to do so and we believe Greater Manchester would offer an ideal option."

In accordance with BIE regulations, the government of a country wishing to organise a World Expo can only submit its candidature a maximum of nine years and a minimum of six 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.

The UK has been a member of the BIE since 1930 although it left the organisation between 1944 and 1949.

The UK was home to the first ever World Expo in London in 1851. It also hosted the World Expo in 1862 in London as well as a Horticultural Expo, also recognised by the BIE, in Liverpool in 1984.

Very active in many World and International Expos, the UK’s latest participation at Expo Milan 2015 around the theme 'Grown in Britain & Northern Ireland', was centered around the Hive. The pavilion, winner of the BIE gold medal for architecture and landscape (pavilions less than 2,000m2), recently started a new life in the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, in London.

Greater Manchester (GM) is home to more than 2.7 million people. It encompasses one of the largest metropolitan areas in the United Kingdom and comprises ten metropolitan boroughs (Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan).

Expo '90 Foundation

Winner of the 2016 International Cosmos Prize selected

The Expo ’90 Foundation (The Commemorative Foundation for the International Garden and Greenery Exposition, Osaka, Japan, 1990) has announced that Dr. Kunio Iwatsuki has been selected as the winner of the 2016 International Cosmos Prize, the 24th edition of the award.

Expo '90 Foundation

Dr. Iwatsuki is Professor Emeritus at Tokyo University and is a specialist in biodiversity and plant systematics. His research has focused on biological analysis and what it means for life forms to be “alive”. Following the announcement, Dr. Iwatsuki declared “I will spend the rest of my life continuing to advance my activities to deepen the understanding of greenery, which is a symbol of life.”

Established to commemorate International Horticultural Expo 1990 in Osaka, the Expo ’90 Foundation is responsible for the management of commemorative funds and the promotion of activities that develop the theme of the Expo – "The Harmonious Coexistence of Nature and Mankind."

Since 2008, the Expo '90 Foundation has collaborated with the BIE through a separate initiative, the BIE-Cosmos Prize. This prize is given out at each World Expo and Specialised Expo, rewarding projects linked to the theme of the Expo and encouraging citizen participation. At Expo 2015 in Milan, the BIE-Cosmos Prize was awarded to the “Nutritious Diet and Sustainable future for Haiti’s Children” project, submitted by non-governmental organisation CESAL.

For more information regarding the 2016 edition of the International Cosmos Prize and the winner, please visit the Expo '90 Foundation website.