Rome’s Bid for Expo 2030 embraces Renewable Energy

rome expo

The Expo, also known as a World’s Fair, is a large international exhibition that showcases the latest advancements in technology, culture, and industry from countries around the world. As of now, the cities of Busan in South Korea, Rome in Italy, Odesa in Ukraine and Riyadh in Saudi Arabia have all announced their intention to apply for the Expo 2030. These cities will go through a rigorous selection process before one is ultimately chosen to host the event.

Rome, under the direction of the International design and innovation office CRA (Carlo Ratti Associati), has unveiled their spectacular master plan for Rome’s bid to host the World Expo in 2030. The project, titled Expo 2030 Roma, aims to use renewable energy as the basis for a 21st-century urban commons, with every country contributing to a solar farm that would power the exhibition site and decarbonize the surrounding neighborhoods.

© Images: CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati

The expo would take place in Tor Vergata, a large area in the municipality of Rome that is home to the eponymous university and a densely inhabited residential district. The master plan aims to revitalize the area through sustainable, long-term development. After the 2030 World Expo, all the event pavilions will be used for different functions, creating a new innovation district in the Italian capital.

The master plan’s vision for the Expo Solar Park ensures that the event will not only reinvigorate the neighborhood but also help decarbonize it. The solar farm in Rome covers an area of 150,000 square meters and boasts a production capacity of 36 megawatt-peak, making it the largest urban, publicly accessible solar farm in the world. The farm is composed of hundreds of unique “energy trees” that open and close their panels throughout the day, harvesting energy while also offering visitors ample shade.

The expo site is divided into three main areas: the City, the Boulevard, and the Park, in a west-to-east layout between the artificial world and the natural world, with a gradual transition from urban to natural as one moves from west to the east. The City in the West functions as the Expo Village and will become an extension of the University of Tor Vergata’s campus after the event. The Boulevard, the central pedestrian axis, is a pathway through all of the national pavilions. Finally, the Park in the east is covered with lush vegetation and accentuated by thematic buildings, including “Pale Blue Dot,” a pavilion dedicated to disseminating knowledge about the natural world.

Expo 2030 Roma’s commitment to neighborhood revitalization is exemplified by the repurposing of a massive sports complex designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, which has been abandoned for 15 years. The structure, locally known as “Le Vele,” will become one of the flagship pavilions of Expo 2030 Roma and host public events, showcasing the transformation of Tor Vergata.

The Expo 2030 Roma master plan experiments with collective city-making processes, new energy-sharing strategies, and inclusive urban transformations that go well beyond the temporal and spatial confines of the event. The project team hopes that this new approach to temporary events could become the foundation of a new model for urban development.

The press release by CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati can be found here: “Expo 2030 Roma

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