Construction & Deconstruction of the Shanghai Expo

Between 2004 to 2010 the government of Shanghai relocated over 18,000 households from the 528 hectare site of the 2010 World Expo.  This of course resulted in massive demolition projects and subsequent construction of new housing projects in more remote parts of the city. Last summer I had the opportunity to visit the Expo as part of an NYU course abroad.  For this course I choose to research how the government of Shanghai relocated the 18,000 households.  So when I came across Bricoleurbanism’s post on the (de)constructing the Expo I was very excited to see a satellite image comparisons of the site in 2004 and 2010.  If you look closely below you will notice a compact village in the southeast portion of the site in 2004.

2004 The future site of the 2010 World Expo

2010 World Expo Park Constructed

Of course this post led me to further wonder what was happening with the Expo site today, since the Expo closing ceremony in October?   It was hard to image that this massive event, costing over US$ 40 billion, was constructed to only last six months.  From my trip this summer I already knew that the China Pavilion was intended to be a permanent structure while the other countries’ pavilions would be torn down to make way a park and other land use.  I found some interesting pictures of the rest of the Expo between October to December 2010, as it has turn into a massive demolition site.  By now most of the pavilions are probably completely gone suggests a few bloggers, but I have yet to find more recent images. In the coming months it will be interesting to see how Shanghai decides to reuse this prime land.  Below are a few photos of the demolition from various bloggers.

“Why do they need to construct something before they start demolishing?” I asked. “It’s China,” said my friend, who’s Chinese. “If they’re building a wall, it’s to hide something behind it.”

Constructing a wall to divide the permanent portion of the Expo from the demolition site. Image and quote from: Shanghai Skiok!



The deconstructed UK Pavilion as of December 2010. Image from Shanghai Scrap.

Read a first hand account of the demolition site from Shanghai Skiok! and see more pictures from CNNGo.




  1. I’m using this as a link for a blog about Guangzhou. Hope that is OK.

  2. Pingback: The Guangdong Folk Arts Museum and Long Yuan Xi Village « rubbletourist

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