AgentMarkets & Economy

Being ‘green’ is all a show

Shanghai Expo reveals which nations take event most seriously

The real estate event of the summer
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Editor's note: Arrol Gellner is currently on an extended stay near Shanghai. Following is one of a series of columns comparing the built environments of America and China. I couldn't be in China during the summer of 2010 and not have every single person I met ask me, "Have you been to the Shanghai Expo?" The short answer is yes. The long answer follows. Shanghai World Exposition 2010 is a huge and hugely promoted event surpassing every previous World's Fair in size, with more than 190 nations represented. A reported 53 million people, most of them Chinese nationals, have already attended. Judging by the endless queues, it seemed like most of them were still there the day I visited. Alas, like many things Chinese, this Expo seems a bit hastily assembled -- it's a jumble of pavilions with no central theme or even a clear physical focal point. The site, though enclosed, is carved up by a number of standard Chinese "megaboulevards," complete with traffic sig...