Minnesota, Poland and Argentina compete to host World's Fair In this June 9, 2017, file photo, world leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, pose for a photo with others as they attend the opening ceremony of the Astana Expo 2017 exhibition in Astana, Kazakstan. (Mikhail Metzel/Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File/Victorgrigas/Wiki Commons)
Minnesota, Poland and Argentina compete to host World's Fair
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Minnesota is hoping to host the first World's Fair on U.S. soil in nearly 40 years. But it will have to overcome many bids. One is from Poland's third-largest city, Lodz. And it is challenged by the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires. That is where a winner will be selected in the coming days.

World's Fairs have introduced several landmarks. Those include the Eiffel Tower, Space Needle and Ferris Wheel. But they have lost some of their cultural relevance in an age of globalization and cheap air travel. World's Fairs are now called World Expos. They are the largest events held every five years and as specialized expos for smaller ones in other years. The events still draw millions of visitors. They allow hosts to show off.

The Bureau of International Expositions will choose the site of the 2022 or 2023 specialized expo on Wednesday in Paris. Minnesota's theme is health and wellness. Lodz's theme is the reinvention of cities. Buenos Aires' highlights creative industries in the digital era.

Here's a closer look:

WHAT ARE EXPOS?

Expos are global events aimed at "educating the public, sharing innovations, promoting progress and fostering cooperation." That's according to the BIE. They're meant to bring the world together to find solutions to some fundamental challenge of humanity. Visitors tour pavilions where participating countries and organizations showcase their contributions on the theme. Experts and diplomats attend conferences on the sidelines.

Six-month-long world expos are held every five years. There are also smaller, three-month "specialized expos" on specific themes that fall in between. World leaders often visit. This is what the BIE is currently considering. 

"Expos remind us that there is much more that binds us together than separates us." That's according to Jim Core. He is director of the international exhibitions unit at the U.S. State Department.

Many Americans have lost sight of how big these events are. That's because the U.S. hasn't hosted one since New Orleans did so in 1984. But the Milan World Expo in 2015 drew around 20 million visitors. This summer's specialized expo on Future Energy was in Astana, Kazakhstan. It drew 4 million people. The 2020 Dubai World Expo is expected to draw about 25 million. That's according to BIE.

HEALTHY MINNESOTA.

Minnesota has proposed a specialized expo for 2023. It's theme is "Healthy People, Healthy Planet." It would trade on the state's reputation as a center of innovation and excellence in health and wellness. That's according to Mark Ritchie. He is the former Minnesota Secretary of State. He is the leader of the bid committee. Minnesota is home to world-class health care institutions. These include the Mayo Clinic, medical device makers such as Medtronic, and insurers such as UnitedHealth.

The site would be near the Mall of America. It is one of the country's biggest shopping centers. It is located in the Minneapolis suburb of Bloomington. The committee projects that it will draw around 12 million visitors. This includes nearly 220,000 international visitors. This would produce a total impact on the local economy of $1.5 billion.

The State Department is vigorously lobbying on Minnesota's behalf. It is a bigger diplomatic effort than Poland's or Argentina's, Ritchie said. It has hosted events in Washington, Paris and other cities. Its embassies and consulates around the world are promoting the bid. It also brought foreign ambassadors to Minnesota. Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan will be in Paris to cast the U.S. vote.

The U.S. left the Bureau of International Expositions in 2001 as congressional interest waned following the end of the Cold War, said Matthew Asada. He is the State Department's expo program officer. But President Donald Trump signed a bill in May. He wants the "U.S. Wants to Compete for a World Expo Act.” He wants to rejoin and put the U.S. back in the game.

REVITALIZED POLAND.

The bid theme of the central Polish city of Lodz for 2022 is "City Re: Invented" and focuses the revitalization of post-industrial cities. The city's expo website says the event would kick-start a second wave of modernization and share Poland's expertise in "urban regeneration" with the rest of the world.

"Lodz is writing an extraordinary story of how to successfully combat a permanent social and infrastructural crisis," the website states. The city expects about 8 million visitors.

Lodz is Poland's third-largest city. It is an hour away from the capital Warsaw. It became a thriving industrial city in the 19th century. It lost momentum after communist rule ended in 1989. The demise of its big textile plants fueled unemployment and decay. But the city says it has undergone a rebirth lately. This includes the restoration of many of the inner city's richly decorated tenement houses from the late 1800s and revitalization around the main railroad station.

CREATIVE ARGENTINA.

Buenos Aires has offered a 2023 expo on "Creative Industries in Digital Convergence." If approved, it would be the first expo in Latin America under the auspices of the BIE. It began operations in 1931. Several were held in Latin America before then, though.

"It will be a celebration of human creativity, in which no one should be left out," Argentine government minister Gabriela Ricardes said last month in a presentation to the Organization of American States.

Buenos Aires expects over 6 million visitors, including 250,000 international tourists. "They will be able to discover the latest innovations in the technological industries, the newest proposals from the world of creativity, and multimedia, artistic, scientific and technological content from Argentina and the participating countries," its expo website says.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why would any city or country want to host a world’s fair?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (33)
  • KiaraB-del
    11/27/2017 - 07:16 p.m.

    This article is mainly about buildings and companies. They are tying to do a big company, bigger than they have ever done. This article was very interesting.

  • GiannaC-del
    11/27/2017 - 10:33 p.m.

    Minnesota is hoping to host the first World's Fair on U.S. soil in nearly 40 years. But it will have to overcome many bids. One is from Poland's third-largest city, Lodz. And it is challenged by the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires. That is where a winner will be selected in the coming days.

  • 24kkarppinen
    11/28/2017 - 09:37 a.m.

    To get more people to live in that City/County. More people to get out and join the activity and fun. Plus they will get more money because, people will come in pay and they earn money while the people spend it to have fun.

  • 24dbrunette
    11/28/2017 - 09:37 a.m.

    Because of the money that the people would have to give to get in and the state would get the money

  • 24cstroud
    11/28/2017 - 09:39 a.m.

    The city's or countries want to hold the world fair because.
    they want a lot of tourists. they also want the money from the tourists

  • 24eberthaume
    11/28/2017 - 09:39 a.m.

    People can gather into one place which could get plane owners to make more money from plane flights. They also may want to get people's money from hotels in the area. People are probably going to stay a few nights if it is a fair that is in one place in the world. So ultimately, they probably are having a fair for more money for local and worldwide businesses.

  • 24bwilber
    11/28/2017 - 09:39 a.m.

    Someone would want to host the words fair because, the area where it occurs could attract tourists to the area, making that place more popular.
    Another reason would be that hosting a fair for the world would make the hosts possibly rich.
    Lastly, hosting a world fair would happen in more areas worldwide, causing countries to compete with others for popularity and money.

  • 24evitito
    11/28/2017 - 09:40 a.m.

    They might host a world fair for a meeting. Also, they also could host one if they want more power. Last,they state could get more people to live there and have their kids grow up their. They may also get a lot of money, like over a billion dollars.

  • 24llambert
    11/28/2017 - 09:41 a.m.

    What is a world fair?

  • 24mstier
    11/28/2017 - 09:41 a.m.

    One reason you would want a world fair in your town is it would draw in a lot of visitors to your town and you would get good publicity. Another reason you would want a world fair in your town is you could see many things you never seen before. The last reason you would want it is you could try new things they brought with them from other countries.

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