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Countdown to EXPO 2015 begins!
On 3 May 2006 Izmir was the first city to become an official candidate for hosting EXPO 2015 on the theme, 'New Pathways For A Better World: Health For All'.
On 30 November 2006 the Italian city of Milan became the second candidate. On 31 March 2008, delegates from the 140 member countries of the Bureau of International Expositions (BIE) will vote on which city will hold EXPO 2015.
Participation in an Expo is centered around a previously specified theme. The theme is first divided up into sub-themes, and thematic areas in the exhibition area are then created accordingly. Participating countries set up their pavilions in keeping with the specified theme, thus ensuring that the whole world has a say on the sub-topics of a universal theme of interest to all humanity, and creating a platform where all mankind can come together.
Health is a particularly original subject since it has never been taken up by any Expo until now. Man's desire to live a longer and healthier life is an indication that this theme is one on which the whole world will agree and to which everyone will have a contribution to make. The United Nations has declared 2015 the year for meeting its Millennium Development Goals, and the Izmir Expo is timed to coincide with those aims. Izmir EXPO 2015 therefore constitutes an eminently appropriate platform for opening up to discussion some major health-related topics among the UN's Millennium Goals. Since the subject is going to occupy a larger place on the world agenda as the target date approaches, the attention both of national leaders and of mankind in general is going to focus on it.
With its thousands of years of experience in the field, Izmir is a city perfectly poised to host an unforgettable Expo on the theme of health. One of the three great Asclepions mentioned in the ancient literature is at nearby Bergama (ancient Pergamon). The father of pharmacology, Galen also carried out his studies at the Pergamon Asclepion. The Pergamon Allianoi Ancient Healing Center discovered in the early part of this century is one of the first centers in history to implement the geothermal treatment of diseases.
Izmir's geothermal resources and spas make it one of richest sites in the world for health tourism, one of its rare features being the proximity here of thermal springs and the sea.
Thanks to the large-scale investments it will bring, EXPO is going to afford Izmir an opportunity to become a world city. These investments therefore need to be made as an integrated whole that takes account both of the city's identity and of its strategy for the future. With the health theme as well as its historical assets and infrastructural possibilities, Izmir is seeking to become a 'health city'.
The İnciraltı EXPO Site offers major possibilities in this sense. İnciraltı lies cheek by jowl with the Balçova region, Izmir's richest area in terms of health tourism. The creation of a Thermal Tourism Health Village is slated in the future here in this part of Izmir, which, if all goes according to plan, will be transformed by EXPO into a health and tourism city.