Expo 2020 in Izmir?
Ever since I arrived in Izmir last year in September, I have seen the Expo 2020 logo all over the place. I thought it had already been decided that Izmir actually was to host the event, until I found out that the vote is still due and that beautiful Izmir is just a candidate city.
Revolutionary inventions such as the telephone, the microphone and the television have been presented during previous world exhibitions. Izmir’s proposed theme is New Routes to a Better World / Health for All. The city aims to turn the Expo 2020 into a platform where professionals of all fields and backgrounds can come together to discuss and develop health projects and solutions.
If the Expo 2020 were to take place in Izmir, this would have a huge economic and social impact on the city and the country as a whole: job creation within and around the establishment of the fair, an increased image of Izmir as a world city and thus boosted prestige, a rise of foreign investment. It would furthermore be the first Expo held in a Muslim country which could be an opportunity to decrease prejudices and religious barriers.
If Izmir were to host an international event of such a magnitude, historic and touristic sites within the city would be renovated and its infrastructure would be extended as well. The expansions of both the local metro line system as well as the Adnan Menderes Airport are already in process in order to be suitable for this major world event.
The official Expo 2020 Izmir website states various advantages from the event taking place in Izmir, such as the city’s geographic location, its experience at hosting fairs, its commercial and trading potential, its level of education as well as its touristic relevance. Furthermore, climate aspects are not to be neglected either as the sun plays an important role in the human body’s well-being which is directly linked to the health theme. Thus the logo of the happy human and the sun rays.
Next Wednesday, on November 27th 2013, the jury’s final decision will be announced. Izmir’s competing cities are Dubai (UAE), Yekaterinburg (Russia) and São Paulo (Brazil) out of which Dubai is considered Izmir’s fiercest competitor due to the city’s vast budget to support its bid.
Will Izmir host the Expo 2020? Next Wednesday we will know for sure. Fingers crossed!