Why an Expo in Rome by Romeo Orlandi

The city has offered its candidacy to host the World Expo for the year 2030

✍️ Prof . Romeo Orlandi, Special Ambassador for Asia, Bid Committee Expo 2030 Rome

A stroll through downtown Rome is enough to understand why the city earned the title of “Eternal City” and how well-deserved it is. Its many deep layers of history coexist, folded together and overlapping in a harmonious whole. This historical stratification is invaluable for scholars, unique for the city’s proud inhabitants, and fascinating for tourists worldwide. For more than two thousand years, the capital of Italy has offered an example of awe-inspiring continuity, thriving splendor, and profound and diverse artistic richness. Now, this city has offered its candidacy to host the World Expo for 2030. The elections will occur in November 2023 at the Bureau International des Expositions in Paris.

Yet, the city did not base its proposal on the potential for strong media impact, nor did it intend to capture global attention merely by invoking Rome’s universal, historical fame. Instead, it opted for a distinctive, succinct programmatic slogan that implies a clearly defined and comprehensive commitment: “People and territories: urban regeneration, inclusion, and innovation.” This formula addresses a challenge common to all countries and relevant to the international community. It reflects the recommendations of the UN and the most important multilateral forums today. Indeed, the themes selected by Rome concern the whole planet because they point to unavoidable issues that will need to be addressed worldwide. The program’s implementation is manifold, including development, diversity, sustainability, mobility, and digital connectivity. Rome intends to address these issues while simultaneously stimulating dialogue, developing consensual solutions, and pointing to a collective path.

The city of Rome is the metropolis with the highest number of green spaces in Europe. Its urban parks, historic villas, gardens, and nature reserves provide a precious balance, an integration of its citizens with nature that is centuries old. Furthermore, its mild climate makes it the largest agricultural municipality in Europe. Intensive cultivation of edible crops within the city limits generates employment and income. The resources used – water, raw materials, fertilisers – traditionally change only with the seasons’ cycle, keeping with an ancient tradition of mutual respect and shared prosperity. Here too, the legacy of the past is not a burden but an inspiration, a springboard rather than a spectacle.

Rome has valued diversity since ancient times. Diversity has increased over time, becoming a fertile path to growth and cultural enrichment. Rome – in the centre of the Mediterranean, at the crossroad of three continents – has attracted ideas and talents that have found multiple ways to express themselves. The extraordinary conglomeration of art and civilisation we can find in Rome would not have been possible without a culture of sharing and welcoming. Throughout the city’s districts and in the streets crowded with foreign visitors, the international and inclusive character of the capital is still clear today. The result is a unique blend of history, nature, and people reflected in the quality of life, the constantly renewed beauty, and the harmony of architecture and landscape.

The site chosen by the city of Rome to host the World Expo 2030 (were this task to be given to Rome by the Bureau International des Expositions in the vote next year in Paris), is located in a large, fully equipped area on the outskirts of the city, adjacent to one of its university campuses. This site truly represents the excellence of the scientific community’s contribution to Rome’s candidacy. The event is expected to take place in full compliance of the most stringent sustainability standards, with zero CO2 emissions, reuse of materials, and respect for the life cycle of water, air, and energy.

The Roma 2030 logo is a stylized arch, which changes colour and gives life to infinite combinations. It is an NFT (Non-fungible Token), in other words, a non-reproducible work of art. It connotes the solidity and elegance of ancient Roman monuments while embodying the reality of the digital present. It powerfully communicates its originating concept: the arch allows entry; it is an open door for new and different inputs and influences. It also suggests a joint path and a range of opportunities, such as co-creating the various national pavilions. Rome expects that by the end of 2030, 30 million visitors will have passed through that arch, to admire the exhibition pavilions of 150 countries.

For work and pleasure, I often visit Cambodia, a country that, like many other Italians, I find fascinating and rich in history, culture and traditions. I have always noticed special attention in Cambodia towards Italy and Rome. I, therefore, hope that Cambodian visitors – tourists, students, and business people – will be able to continue to appreciate the countless attractions of the Eternal City – art, food, shopping, universities, economic opportunities – and, in 2030, to immerse themselves in the experience of a truly forward-looking Expo based on sustainability and inclusivity, in Rome.

? Source: Phnom Penh Post, Publication date 23 August 2022

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