Shanghai gets set to welcome the world.
On May 1 will you be visiting my favorite metropolis? Shanghai, China’s most populous city, welcomes you to the opening of the World Expo 2010, the “biggest outdoor entertainment event in history.” Beginning Saturday and continuing until Oct. 31, you and some 70 million others–the number of expected visitors–will be able to see 253 pavilions from 192 countries. The world’s first developing country to host a world fair is ending up creating the largest one ever.
The Expo will be just like the Olympics, only much bigger and far more exorbitant. Initially, Beijing promised the Shanghai event would be a modest affair. Chinese leaders, however, could not help themselves. Officially, they say they will spend the equivalent of $4.2 billion to host the event. Yet add in all the amounts poured into infrastructure and other preparations, and the cost balloons to more than $58 billion. Call it the most expensive event in history.