One of the unique features of the MIM is a field study trip to China, Korea, and Japan. For three weeks next March, we will travel throughout the region. Lectures and factory tours will take up most of the schedule, but we also just get to observe the rapid changes sweeping through places like Shanghai. in 2010, Shanghai will be hosting the World Expo. We will be back in Portland before everything kicks off, but I am looking forward to seeing the preparations. The Economist has an interesting article about some current projects.
China is lavishing as much money on the World Expo and accompanying makeover of Shanghai ($45 billion) as it did on the Olympics and sprucing up Beijing. Some 18,000 homes have been demolished to make way for the site’s construction on the banks of the Huangpu river which flows through the city. A massive expansion of the Shanghai Metro underground and light-rail network is under way. Non-existent 15 years ago, it will be as big, by the time the Expo opens, as the London Underground.
Impressive, isn’t it? In another part of the continent, Yeosu. Korea is also preparing for an Expo in 2012. Unfortunately, our itinerary will not take us through Yeosu, but I would love to attend the Expo there. I traveled through there a couple years ago, so it would be fascinating to observe their infrastructure growth first-hand.
As countries across Asia host large-scale global events like the Olympics and Expos, it only reinforces how important it is to start learning as much as possible about the region. MIM is a perfect way to start or continue that journey.