Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Interesting proposal from ArchNewsNow: a 2014 World's Fair

Archnewsnow, a great website and e-newsletter about best practices in land use and architecture has an interesting op-ed suggesting that NYC get over the Olympics, and create a 2014 World's Fair.

New York World's FairMaybe a U.S. world's fair in the 21st Century can also be about diversity?

In "Op-Ed: The 2012 New York Olympics is lost. Long live the 2014 New York World's Fair," Fred Bernstein writes: "New York won't be hosting the 2012 Olympics, and there are reasons to be sad about that. But there are also opportunities ahead. A world's fair in New York in 2014 would give the city a far greater boost.The 1939 and 1964 New York World's Fairs were thrilling advertisements for American know-how and creativity. The 20th century wouldn’t have been the American century without them.

Some say the 21st century will be the Chinese century. If so, the World's Fair planned for Shanghai in 2010 is a harbinger. Already, there are signs that the Chinese will spare no expense to create a technologically and architecturally dazzling expo. But 2014 – the 50th anniversary of New York's last World's Fair – could be the year New York reasserts itself as the most diverse and cosmopolitan city in the world. A fair (unlike the two-week-long Olympics) would bring millions of visitors to New York, in spring, summer, and fall.

Right now, no U.S. city is planning a World’s Fair, and American participation in foreign fairs is spotty. Nearly 200 countries managed to build pavilions at the Hannover, Germany, fair in 2000, but the U.S. stayed away. And the State Department hasn't committed to participating in the Shanghai fair. Even more surprising, in 2002, the U.S. dropped out of the international organization that sanctions world's fairs – the Paris-based Bureau of International Expositions – in order to avoid paying dues of just a few thousand dollars a year. (...)

The fair would benefit the city, state, and nation. It would improve America’s image abroad, while bringing large amounts of money to New York. (Talk about win-win!) This year’s World’s Fair in Aichi, Japan, has already attracted an incredible 10.1 million visitors – and the summer vacation season is just starting."


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