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New York 2015: A World's Fair in the World's City

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With September 11th still fresh in Americans' minds, the focus has shifted away from private grieving and towards ways in which everyone will be able to cope, remember, and move on.  The two weeks in Salt Lake City this winter showed a glimpse of what can happen when Americans get behind the idea of unity; but thus far, New York City itself has done little to celebrate the world in which its citizens play such a large part.  Clearly, New York is rebuilding and trying to get back on its feet; however, the time has come for Mayor Bloomberg, corporate America, and the citizens of the world to create a symbolic event to remember the events that took place, and more importantly, trumpet the future of diverse human relations.

 

Just thirty-eight years ago, the 1964-65 Worlds Fair, with its theme of Peace through Understanding was such a display.  Today, this fair seems to many as just a fond memory, and many argue that in the present age of the Internet and Disney World, there would be little enthusiasm for such a recurrence. 

 

Yet, a third world's fair, following in the successes of both 1939 and 1964 would present the city, country, and world with many benefits, including:

 

1.  It would provide a showcase of present world culture, by displaying the benefits of diversity through pavilions of each of its constituent members.

 

2.  It would be forward-looking, by celebrating the future of human relations and interaction among peoples, in addition to the great progress being made throughout the world in science and technology.

 

3.  It would provide educational entertainment for all, while offering an all-inclusive atmosphere for the people of the world to acknowledge the roles that they have played and continue to play in shaping it both pre- and post-September 11th.

 

4.  It would be a chance for New York City to create economic stimulus by drastically improving its infrastructure.  A large exposition offers an opportunity to demonstrate comprehensive, coordinated urban design at a large scale of a kind that private development rarely attains.  In addition, if the fair were held at ground zero, the buildings needed could be incorporated into those rebuilding efforts.

 

The support that has arisen for this event has come from all age levels, and is currently bringing hundreds of Americans together to help make this dream a reality.  As our movement on Princeton University's campus shows, it is the younger generation that is now calling for a United States world's fair, and we believe that no place is more appropriate than New York City.  In addition, Ben is from Manhattan's Upper West Side, and hopefully, if the outpouring of support that we have received continues, he wishes to present our idea to New York's politicians predominantly Mayor Bloomberg, potentially with the help of Rudy Giuliani.  

 

Unfortunately, a grass roots effort of college students will not cut it alone.  We need adult connections of interested people, including those who remember the 1964-5 fair.

 

Naturally, our main challenge has been and will continue to be the need to convince people and politicians that this is a feasible idea.  We already have statistics with regard to acreage and expected number of visitors, as well as a strategic time horizon for meeting the financial and logistical aspects of our plan.  A short summary of our 59 page ExpoDynamics (TM) Report prepared by JDP ECON, developer of the World's Fair Decision Model with participation by officials of the Bureau of International Exhibitions, U.S. Government officials, and other world's fair experts, can all be viewed on the "Our Plan" page of this website. 

 

To those who would challenge our credibility, we say that it is important to remember that New York is currently bidding for the 2012 Olympics.  The idea of a 5-borough Olympics seems to us as much more radical in scope than a World's Fair, as a Fair would not face nearly the same logistical and financial challenges associated with the Olympics.  Furthermore, a World's Fair would be easier to organize, requires less public money, and is open to everyone, not simply those people wealthy enough and well-connected enough to get tickets.  In fact, while pushing for the Olympics, former mayor Giuliani referenced the benefits that the last two world's fairs had for New York City.  This website is on our Links page as well.

 

Thus far, articles have been published in our campus newspaper, the Daily Princetonian, and Trenton's paper, the Trentonian.  These links can be reached from our Press page.  We are also in the process of working with other newspapers and national TV affiliates to get more press coverage.  At the same time, we are working with major private fundraisers for financial support.

 

Please help us to get the word out by signing our online petition (follow the link on the left).  New Yorkers, write to your local representatives (you can do this directly from our Links page).  We also would love to hear from other adults and students who have ideas that they believe may help us in our endeavor.  We can be reached at either jbydlak@princeton.edu or bkingsle@princeton.edu.  In addition, check out the national site located at http://www.WorldExpo2012.com. 

 

Only with public support can our effort continue to grow.  For a New York Worlds Fair is not just a good idea, as all of our supporters have shown, it is more of an absolute necessity today than ever could have been imagined.