Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Because this is 2010 Shanghai Expo!


Can you imagine a water city where you live like a fish, a space city where the city is in orbit, an intelligence city, characterized by sophisticated electronic meeting places, production, marketing, and distribution system. Or an eco-city where nothing is wasted but used in an ecosystem-like fashion? Can you imagine a toilet that intelligently detects biochemical substances? Can you imagine the kitchen of the future, or an energy garden?

This is an account of the places I found interesting at the Shanghai Expo 2010 and in the city itself. I will also write some of the things that my other group members and I did for the entire time of our stay. We visited the Expo 2010 courtesy of an award from a project competition we won at Jacobs University - our project: the usage of snake robots for underground pipe system maintainance in megacities.

Our journey was quite long but of a great experience. Having left Bremen on June 1 at 1815 (German time) we arrived in Shanghai on June 2 at 1355 (local time). We were then picked up and accompanied to our hotel. That evening we went out for a walk at the People's Square and on to Nanjing Road. Nanjing Road is a commercial street, nicely decorated with a lot of lights. We loved this place so much for its liveliness, and nice shops.

Nanjing Road, Shanghai

On June 2, we drove from our hotel to the Expo 2010 site. Located in Zone E at the Urban Best Practices Area (UBPA) we first visited the Jacobs University stand where we were shown the multimedia interactive exhibit of the university displaying the university's core objective of preparing leaders of tomorrow-who, in abundance, will become global citizens. We were then shown the Bremen Case-for Bremen and North-West Germany.

Future oriented projects are showcased that range from a simple but highly beneficial car-sharing concept and electric cars to nature, energy and science. Just like the name suggests, with a car-sharing concept, cars will be owned by a special body and everyone would use a car without having to worry about maintenance but their bills only that are payable at the end of the month. This would be of advantage to young people or people who cannot afford to buy cars. Most importantly, it would reduce heavy traffic and environmental pollution.

Bremen Pavilion at EXPO 2010

At the Bremerhaven stand, the Alfred Wegner Institute for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), tells us that beautiful Shanghai will be underwater if proper measures to control the climate change are not taken. They have other nice projects too.

I personally loved the Beluga stand that proposes tapping wind energy using wind turbines carried in a huge ship that floats in an ocean. The concept is much more complicated involving a strong base for the ship to resist storm winds and water waves. Also the tapping of wind energy using wind turbines built in the ocean is exhibited.

Airbus, Kaefer, Werder Bremen, and Hochschule Bremen (University of Applied Science) are also there. We then helped out with some tasks at our stand before we went on to see the rest of the pavilions at the zone.

Oh, I loved the Pavilion of Future! Seeing it I was reminded that we human beings are highly limited by our imagination. While others dream the future others might just be observers. As you may anticipate, this pavilion showcases cities of future; water city, eco city, energy city, space city and intelligence city. They have a multimedia visualization projected on a really huge screen, in a huge dark building.

The intelligence city was so amazing. I think I did not grasp it well, but everything is "electronized" in this city. For example if you wish to move from one place to the next you do some "electronic magic" and you have a skate or something. Just nicely and all over a sudden you start moving. All you need is a remote control.

We visited the Hamburg pavilion. We saw the Theater of the Future at the Taipei Pavillion. I also went to Dusseldorf City, Seoul, Cairo, Information and Communications pavillions.

In the evening we decided to cross the Huangpu River to go shopping at the Super Brand Mall in Pudong District. But we were late and the mall was closing. Because we knew that we could be late, we had plan B in mind; to visit Lujiazui where The Oriental Pearl Tower is located. This street is the skyline of Shanghai. It has many (expensive) restaurants, banks, hotels and offices. We could not climb the tower, but took a lot of photos. We later enjoyed a nice view of the Bund in Huangpu District from the other bank of the river. The Bund is characterized by European-like archicture. We took lots of photos and a video of it.

Apart from the fact that Shanghai Streets may be considered as very superficial with unnecessary lighting leading to power wastage, there is a lot of amazement in it.

Oh! Wait! I love the way business is done in Shanghai. No price is final. Bargaining is the right way to go. And you really have to be hard at it.

The energy garden, the future kitchen, and the elderly lounge, elderly bedroom, elderly parlor and bathroom are found at the Shanghai Pavilion. The Wine Bar at Barcelona's case is where Spain's famous Torres wine is sold is also a good place to chit-chat and enjoy the Spanish wine.

On Monday June 7 we met our professor while later in the afternoon we met our University president. We then went to Tongji University, one of China's finest universities to visit the Department of Environmental Research and the university as a whole. On June 8 I visited a large International Logistics Fair at Expo. On June 9 we visited Zhujia Jiao, an ancient water town. On June 10 my friends returned to Bremen and I went to Xi'an, Shaanxi province in Northwestern China. I will head back to Germany on June 18 to begin my internship.

BK, a Tanzanian national, is a final year student of Electrical Enginering and Computer Science at Jacobs University in Bremen, Germany.

Bremen Pavilion feature, ICS


  1. Is East Africa expecting to host EXPO in the near future?

  2. Duh. SN & Vin mmetoa mpya. I hope humu kuna mchina atakayeweza kutafsiri.

  3. 谢谢 - Thank you

    好的文章 - Good