World Expos can create positive and long-lasting impacts in their host cities, 25 current and aspiring global thought leaders agreed during Expo 2020 Dubai’s second international World Majlis session, held in Shanghai, China.
The session, titled ‘The Future of Cities: World Expos as Experiments in Mega-Change’, heard several examples of how the 167-year-old event had improved a host city’s infrastructure, as well as the spirit and mindset of its people.
For example, Expo 2010 Shanghai brought forward the city’s metro extension by 25 years, while structures built for The Great Exhibition in London in 1851 are still major drawcards, such as the Victoria and Albert Museum.
The sixth World Majlis session took place at the World Expo Museum (WEM) in Shanghai and coincided with the inaugural World Expo Forum for Development and International Cooperation, which saw senior Expo 2020 officials join 350 international delegates at WEM to discuss global collaboration, innovation, design, culture, and economic and urban impact.
A scale model of the Expo 2020 site was also unveiled during the two-day forum and will remain as a permanent exhibition within WEM, which is located on the former site of Expo 2010 Shanghai China.
Najeeb Mohammed Al-Ali, Executive Director of Dubai Expo 2020 Bureau, who hosted the World Majlis session, said: “Expo 2020 has the potential to positively influence urban development across Dubai, the UAE and the region as a whole. The insights generated during the World Majlis session in Shanghai will help shape this journey, making a meaningful contribution to the impact of the next World Expo on future cities.”
The World Majlis session participants included His Excellency Hong Hao, Chairman, WEM; Professor Joan Busquets, Harvard School of Design and Technical University of Catalonia; and Professor Cheng Jian, Shanghai Coordination Center of World Cities Day. It was moderated by Marjan Faraidooni, Senior Vice President – Legacy Development and Impact, Expo 2020 Dubai.
A total of 50 World Majlis sessions are planned in the lead-up to and during Expo 2020 Dubai, a six-month celebration of innovation which will take place from 20 October, 2020 to 10 April, 2021. The next session will be held in the UAE in early 2019.