Rome unveils bid for Expo 2030: Future is our History

Rome working towards complete traffic ban in Forum area.

Rome mayor Roberto Gualtieri presented his city's candidature to host the 2030 Universal Exposition, or Expo, at the Italian pavilion in Dubai on Thursday.

During his presentation the centre-left mayor unveiled Rome's Expo slogan - 'Future is our History' - as well as the proposed Expo site: Tor Vergata in the south-eastern outskirts near one of the capital's main universities.

Outlining the city's plans, Gualtieri said: "We envision Expo not only as a temporary exhibition but as an opportunity for intelligent and sustainable urban regeneration."

Urban transformation

The city's bid is built around a project promoting new ways of urban co-existence, designed to "bypass the traditional separation between centre and suburbs", and based around the four pillars of history, nature, innovation and inclusion.

"Urban transformation is increasingly viewed as a game changer and Rome is ready to play its part" - the mayor said in a promotional video - "Over the course of our 3,000-year history we have reinvented ourselves countless times."

"We have marvels of the past at our fingertips and now we mean to show ways of dealing with the great challenges of the future", he said.

Pedestrianisation of Via dei Fori Imperiali 

Gualtieri also announced in Dubai that Rome is set to completely pedestrianise the street running through the Forum area "to ensure that the beauty of the past can be enjoyed to the fullest."

The mayor said the city is working to "improve the layout of the Fora and the central archaeological area, transforming Via dei Fori Imperiali into an exclusively pedestrian area." 

The plan dates back almost a decade to former centre-left mayor Ignazio Marino who first began to pedestrianise the street, banning private traffic near the Colosseum, against much opposition. "We have the most noteworthy monument in the world" - Marino said at the time - "and we've turned it into a traffic island."

Last September, after the Italian government backed Rome as a candidate for Expo 2030, Italy's premier Mario Draghi said: "It is without doubt a great opportunity for the development of the city."

Jubilee 2025

Rome's Expo bid comes as it prepares for the Vatican's Jubilee Year in 2025, an event which traditionally results in a major influx of visitors to the capital.

Commentators suggest that the infrastructure and services being put in place ahead of Jubilee Year 2025 could prove pivotal in helping Rome win its bid to host Expo 2030.

The Italian capital is up against several other contenders, including Busan (South Korea) and Riyadh (Saudi Arabia), in the race to host Expo 2030. The winner will be revealed by the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) in 2023.