The Bureau of International Expositions (BIE) will decide whether Łódż, Poland’s third-largest city, the US state of Minnesota or the Argentine capital Buenos Aires will host the 2022/23 World’s Fair.
Delegates from 130 countries will gather in Paris today to vote for one of the three cities, before the winner is announced at 12 noon local time.
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Held every five years, the World’s Fair, also referred to as as World Expos, allow cities to showcase their culture — Paris unveiled the Eiffel Tower when it hosted the event in 1889.
Minnesota has picked the theme of health for its 2022/23 expo, Buenos Aires has chosen creative industries in the digital era, while Łódż has selected urban regeneration.
If Łódż is successful, the city expects about 8m visitors.
Its proposals include a new museum of modern art and congress centre, which has already been designed by the Los Angeles-based architect Frank Gehry. Gehry’s work includes the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain.
Jerzy Kwiecinski, secretary of state in Poland’s ministry of economic development said:
Making places liveable for people, social integration, social life – these are challenges faced by all cities around the world. Today about 50 per cent of the world’s population lives in cities, but by 2050 it will be 70 per cent. So the problems of growing agglomerations will be more and more important.
Meanwhile, Buenos Aires expects over 6m visitors if its expo is given the go ahead. Speaking last month at the Organisation of American States, Argentine government minister Gabriela Ricardes said:
It will be a celebration of human creativity, in which no one should be left out.
If Minnesota is chosen, it will be the first time in nearly 40 years that a US state has hosted a World’s Fair.
“There’s just a lot of buzz,” said Mark Ritchie, the CEO and president of the Minnesota World’s Fair bid committee. “The Minnesotans are really behind this bid [and] supportive of taking the risk.”
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Jim Core, director of the International Expositions Unit at the US State Department, told the Associated Press on Friday:
Expos remind us that there is much more that binds us together than separates us.