Russian ‘Smart City’ among finalists to host Expo 2025

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    The Russian city of Ekaterinburg has entered the final round of bidding to host the World Expo 2025. At the heart of Russia’s bid is the ‘Smart City’ concept proposed to be constructed before the fair.

    Ekaterinburg, a city of 1.5 million in the Ural Mountains, faces off against the Japanese city of Osaka and Azerbaijan’s capital Baku, after France officially withdrew the candidacy of Paris. The three finalists presented their bids on Wednesday in Paris, during a meeting of the Bureau of International Expositions (BIE). The Russian plan involved building a “Smart City” on an area of 555 hectares adjacent to Ekaterinburg.

    Monorail build over the Iset River would connect the Expo Park with the rest of the city, and the new district would also be accessible by boat, according to the governor of Sverdlovsk region Evgeny Kuyvashev. At the heart of Expo Park would be a glass dome 2 kilometers in diameter, which would contain flora from across the world. The new district will be serviced by electric buses.

    More than 37 million people would be expected to visit the Expo if the Russian bid wins, Kuyvashev told the BIE. Among the presenters of Russia’s bid was cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev, who addressed the audience by a video link from the International Space Station.

    While Russia has never hosted the Expo before, it has all the required infrastructure, resources, and experience to host big international events, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Georgy Kalamanov told RT.

    “We already hosted the [2014 Winter] Olympics, and tomorrow the FIFA World Cup kicks off,” Kalamanov told RT. “We have to work hard to have such a high-level event in Russia as well.”

    The world fair, now known as the Expo, has been held annually in different parts of the globe since the mid-19th century, beginning with London in 1851. The most recent Expo was held in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, in 2017. The BIE will decide on the winning bid in November.

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