Los Angeles may have lost out on the Olympics (to Boston!), but this is a city of opportunity. Today comes its next chance to welcome all the world: a World's Fair. An Indiegogo campaign was launched just last week by the appropriately-titled Los Angeles World's Fair, seeking $100,000 to build the first of several transit-accessible pavilions all across the city; so far they've raised a pretty impressive $41,000. If things go according to plan, the fair would run for two full years, from 2022 to 2024.
Organizers say the fair would be a boon for all of Los Angeles, stimulating the economy, creating tons of jobs, and showcasing the latest in technology and culture. Pavilions would transition from fair installations to "something for the community," one LAFW member tells to the LA Business Journal. A brief flyover video shows an early concept of a very green pavilion along the ever-rising LA River in an area close to Frogtown.
According to LAWF, Los Angeles is the perfect stage: "the most fun, connected, modern city in the world," and "home to the largest non-native populations of 26 countries worldwide." The organization is already promoting all sorts of pie-in-the-sky ideas, from Hyperloops and self-driving vehicles to "3D printed gourmet delicacies" (?) and something called SkyTran (??). If successful, this would be the first World's Fair hosted in America since 1984.
One big caveat: the United States is no longer a member of the Bureau of International Expositions, the body that regulates World's Fairs. President Bush withdrew from the organization in 2001 (it cost too much money, apparently). Unless the USA rejoins, a legitimate World's Fair is impossible. Update 7 pm: Barry Howard, an advisor to LAWF, tells us that, according to the latest regulations, there are two types of World's Fairs: registered World's Fairs, which take place over six months every five years, and recognized World's Fairs, which take place over three months in between registered fairs. The LAWF is set to run for two whole years—as of now, plans call for a recognized World's Fair to take place sometime between 2022 and 2024, with the remaining 21 months unsanctioned by the BIE. Membership is still up in the air (participation is required, even for a recognized fair), but Howard believes things will fall into place as support for LAWF builds. A detailed feasibility study (read: a report showing where all the money will come from) is the next step after the crowdfunding campaign.
In any case, organizers are looking for your money and they've got all sorts of t-shirts and stickers to give away. Donate here. —Ian Grant
· World's Fair Crowdfunding Its Way to Los Angeles [LABJ]
· Here Are LA's Huge Plans for the 2024 Olympics [Curbed LA]