Who will host Expo 2030? Final inspection held for Rome’s world's fair bid

Organisers complete mission to Italy after tours of Saudi Arabia, Ukraine and South Korea

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A team of Expo organisers have completed an inspection visit to Rome to assess Italy’s bid to stage the 2030 world's fair.

This marks the end of evaluation visits to countries in the running to stage the global gathering.

Missions have already taken place in Saudi Arabia, Ukraine and South Korea.

During a five-day visit, the group from the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), met national and local Italian officials to examine Rome’s theme of People and Territories: Regeneration, Inclusion and Innovation.

I believe what was very impressive is this unique voice we heard, it truly seems this project is coming together under a banner of national unity
Dimitri Kerkentzes, BIE secretary general

They visited the proposed site in the Tor Vergeta district that would be the heart of the Expo if the country wins the bid.

The area is home to a university, residential neighbourhood and a sports complex designed by renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava.

Unique voice

Dimitri Kerkentzes, secretary general of the BIE, said it was it was a strong project with sustainability at its core.

“We felt that this is not just a candidature of Rome but is truly a candidature of Italy, for Italy and for Italians,” he told the press in Rome.

Mr Kerkentzes said it was interesting to meet not only the government authorities, officials of the city of Rome but to speak to members of civil society, non-government organisations and the private sector.

“I believe what was very impressive is this unique voice that we heard, it truly seems that this project is coming together under a banner of national unity.”

The BIE is the organisation that oversees and regulates world expos.

Italian officials described the visit as “one of the most important moments before the Expo 2030 final vote by 171 countries in November”.

“The enquiry mission to Italy is the last to be carried out as part of the project evaluation phase for World Expo 2030,” Expo 2030 Roma committee said in a statement.

“The findings of the enquiry missions will be discussed by the BIE’s executive committee in May 2023.

“In November 2023, during the 173rd general assembly of the BIE, the host country of World Expo 2030 will be elected via secret ballot by BIE member states on the principle of one country, one vote.”

The Expo organisers’ visit concluded on Saturday night with a spectacular light and music show with 500 drones sweeping over the ancient Colosseum that formed the backdrop for a theatrical display.

BIE officials met Italy’s President Sergio Mattarella, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, Roberto Gualtieri, mayor of Rome and spoke to consultants, businessmen and NGOs to gauge the feasibility of the plans submitted.

One of the central concepts of Rome’s bid is a plan for one of the largest urban solar farms, renewal of neighbourhoods and new accessibility solutions, deepening the link between industry and agriculture.

The BIE inspection visits began in Riyadh last month to examine Saudi’s theme The era of change: Together for a foresighted tomorrow, as part of the country’s ambition to create an Expo that would lay down the blueprint for a more equitable future.

Ukraine has forwarded Odesa as the host city with the theme of Renaissance. Technology. Future that envisions new technology to serve, help and educate.

South Korea’s project in Busan centres on people working together to face challenges as part of its focus on Transforming our world, navigating toward a better future.

The BIE mission checks the proposed site, planned re-use after the Expo, the level of local and national support, the financial feasibility plans and expected participation figures.

Expo 2020 Dubai was the most recent world's fair to be held just as the world was re-emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Expo Dubai drew more than 24 million visits to more than 200 pavilions between October 2021 and March 2022.

The next World Expo will take place in Osaka, Japan in 2025 with the focus on Designing Future Society for Our Lives.

Expo 2020 Dubai - in pictures

Updated: April 25, 2023, 2:30 AM