Shanghai Prepares for Expo 2010

Construction workers and organizers in Shanghai, China are busily completing tasks ahead of the planned opening of the 2010 World Expo on May 1st – planned to be the largest World Expo in history.

The Sunny Valley and the Chinese Pavilion are seen during a light test at the 2010 World Expo site in Shanghai January 12, 2010. (REUTERS/China Daily)

The Shanghai World Expo 2010, scheduled to start on 1 May 2010 (and it’s scheduled to run until October 31, 2010.), promises to be the largest ever. With 238 participants as of May 2009, including international organizations as well as countries from around the world, and a projected 70 million visitors over the six months of Expo 2010, the event will be a formidable exercise in logistics, as well as a vast stage for countries to showcase their businesses and cultures.

The Expo 2010 site covers 5.28 square kilometers on both sides of the Huangpu River in the south of the city. The first World Expo to be held in a developing country, the Shanghai Expo’s theme will be “Better City, Better Life” and is particularly appropriate given China’s rapid urbanization since the country opened up to the outside world in the late 1970s.

The Pavilions – housing countries, corporations and international organizations – will be at the heart of the Shanghai World Expo 2010. While many of them will be of standard construction, hired by countries for the duration of the event, and some will be large buildings housing exhibitions from many different countries (such as the African Pavilion), others will be one-off constructions, designed to impress.

When it comes to impressing the public, China’s pavilion is clearly the winner. Covering an area of 6.52 hectares and towering 63 meters above the site, the Chinese pavilion is no shrinking violet. The 30-meter high roof, of distinctively Chinese design, is dubbed “The Crown of the East”, and will host the pavilion’s exhibition. The main structure will be surrounded by other pavilions, one housing presentations from around the provinces, along with smaller separate pavilions for Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.’s The Big Picture series collected several recent photos from Shanghai as construction nears completion for the Expo 2010. [via Suite101; photos via Boston]

In this photo taken Sunday, Feb. 21, 2010, a man labors in front of the Seed Cathedral, formed by thousands of slender acrylic rods - the centerpiece of the UK Pavilion, at the Shanghai World Expo site in Shanghai, China. The expo starts May 1 and runs for six months. It is expected to draw 70 million visitors. (AP Photo)

Workers are seen at the Seed Cathedral, part of the UK Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo site. The 20-meter-high cube-like Seed Cathedral will be covered by 60,000 slim, transparent acrylic rods, which will quiver in the breeze, according to the official website of Shanghai Expo. (REUTERS/China Daily)

Inside the UK's Seed Cathedral, seeds are seen, encased in the ends of acrylic poles used for the facade of the structure on March 15, 2010. The 20-meter-high cube-like Seed Cathedral is covered by 60,000 slim, transparent acrylic rods, which will quiver in the breeze, according to the official website of Shanghai Expo. (REUTERS/Aly Song)

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