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Right now it’s impossible to live in Shanghai without constantly being reminded of four little letters: E-X-P-O. I made my first trip (because it’s too huge to see everything in a week, let alone a day) last Thursday. Instead of waiting in line for hours at the USA or Saudi Arabia pavilion, I headed to Zone E, which houses the GM pavilion as well as some city pavilions. I was most impressed by "Pavilion of Future", and with only a ten minute wait time, I would call it a must-see. Upon entering, floor-to-ceiling tv screens show futuristic sci-fi movies. Whatever walls weren’t covered with screens had reflective panels, so combined with the high def video and dimmed lights, it felt as though you were in a hovercraft zooming around Shanghai, year 3000.
Continue through the pavilion and you’ll find historical accounts of how people have imagined the future and characteristics of the city of tomorrow, before entering a huge room with colored lights that frankly looks like it would make an awesome nightclub. The 36 meter high screen shows an animated film of 5 different cities of tomorrow. In the future, I’d like to live in "Ecological City", where according to the film, all transportation systems and buildings are located underground and aboveground is a thriving forest for humans and animals to enjoy. Oh yeah, humans also ride deer around the forest. No big deal.
Visitors pass through one last room full of recently developed technologies (electronic paper! a smart refrigerator!) before exiting the Future and re-entering the present.