A Discussion on Hosting the Next World Expo

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In the last scene of the classic science fiction movie Men in Black where the main character enters a spaceship platform lift to pursue aliens, the real scene was filmed in Meadows-Corona Park at Queens, New York. Meadows-Corona Park also hosted the World Expo in 1939 and 1964. Nearly forty years later, the United States government is bidding again to host the World Expo, as revealed by the U.S. government yesterday. People in charge of the Meadows- Corona Park indicated that they hope Minneapolis, which is bidding to host the Expo, will learn from previous experiences and avoid wasting money.

Minneapolis is Minnesota’s largest city, and is bidding to host the World Expo in 2023. It currently is among the top three finalists along with Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Lodz. Although the 2023 World Expo is a specialized expo, smaller than the general World Expos, it will be the first World Expo hosted in America in the last forty years, since the 1984 World Expo in New Orleans.

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The site of both the 1939 and 1964 general World Expos, Meadows-Corona Park in Queens is the fourth largest park in New York City. It is even larger than Central Park, and has an area equivalent to 900 standard soccer fields. Unfortunately, the architecture from both World Expos is limited, and includes the New York Hall, which was transformed into the Queens Museum, the renowned, giant stainless steel globe (the Unisphere) constructed in 1964, and other buildings that have been converted into a science museum, zoo, and more.

Jancie Melnick, the manager of Meadows-Corona Park at the New York Department of Parks and Recreation, indicated that landmark buildings at the park have become memories and symbols for all of Queens. The population of Queens is dense, so the park is the residents’ backyard, the heart and spirit of Queens. However, the aforementioned movie Men in Black shot a scene in the Tent of Tomorrow building, which has been in long-term desolation and disrepair. The Department’s 2014 report proposed a complete renovation to create a 1964 World Expo Museum. The project will cost $5.2 million (approximately HKS400 million), and has not yet obtained community consensus and funding.

Melnick acknowledged that even though the cost was enormous, hosting the Expo was still worth it. She said, “The revenue from operating this site (the Meadows-Corona Park) surpasses that of all other parks, and we also have a museum, theater, science museum, zoo, and other buildings.” When the Department of Parks and Recreation took over, it signed a long-term cooperation agreement, and the buildings are self-financing. She said, “Minnesota should evaluate other cities that have hosted World Expos, and should create a model that can sustain long term growth, so that the community can enjoy the facilities after the World Expo is over.”

The city that wins the bid for the 2023 specialized World Expo will be announced at the International Exhibitions Bureau Headquarters in Paris. U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan will go to France to campaign for votes. According to the Minnesota government plan, the theme for this World Expo will be “Healthy People, Healthy Planet.” The three month exhibit is forecasted to attract 12 million tourists and generate $4 billion (approximately HKS31.2 billion) in economic revenue. The Department also indicated that the World Expo site will be driven by a public private partnership model, but no concrete investment amounts have been disclosed.

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A Discussion on Hosting the Next World Expo. (2023, Jun 01). Retrieved from


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