“What Makes a Crowd?”- Commentary on the aftermaths of Shanghai Expo
This news article written back in 2010 right after the 2010 started out describing the huge success in the recorded number of visitors to the Shanghai Expo, but more importantly I think it provides the opposite angles that many of the other research papers or articles hold, as it started revealing the problems in behind the façade of the expo’s success.
It started off mentioning the long queues and anxious crowds in the expo, and later moved on to questioning how much profit was actually generated when a such huge money has been spent on the redevelopment of Shanghai, and many of the visitors were actually locals subsidized by the government to show their support for the expo. Pavilion gatekeepers were deluged with demands–and bribes–to allow priority entry. It also mentioned the problems in lack of supervision on the site, as different visitors reported cases of people bribing or posing as disabled to abuse the priority entrance.
On the other hand, this article also questioned the sustainability of the overall expo planning, as the Shanghai Expo Bureau cancelled a conference regarding the future redevelopment of Shanghai post-expo. The author also pointed out that tearing down all the multimillion-dollar pavilions, along with the “staggering amount of trash” generated by the expo, is an irony considering the theme of the Expo being “Better City, Better Life” and sustainability.
Regardless of whether the Expo should be considered as a success or failure, in my opinion may be up to everyone’s own judgement. However, any judgement should be made based on viewing facts on both ends of the spectrum. I think this news article, while has quite a strong underlying stance, provides the point of view that are lacking in other sources, and therefore is a valuable piece of information for us to understand the Shanghai Expo situation as a whole.
Areddy, James T. “What Makes a Crowd? In Shanghai, 73 Million; After 6 Months, Most-Visited World’s Fair Winds Down; Chinese Pour In for 8-Hour Lines, Spain’s 21-Foot Baby.” Wall Street Journal (Online) (New York, N.Y.), 2010.