On 14 June 1990 Hannover won the expo2000 bid against Toronto by a single vote.
Ten years later, coinciding with the tenth anniversary of reunification, Germany held its first World's Fair, proving to the world that the country is financially and technologically strong.
In contrast to previous World Fairs, EXPO 2000 did not aim to highlight industrial and technical achievements, but rather to offer solutions to current environmental and developmental problems.
Thus, to set an example of this ambition, the EXPO set up a whole ecological management of the environment:
- Reuse of existing exhibition halls on the site and only 30% of new constructions and developments.
- Recycling of pavilions (the Japanese pavilion was recycled into paper) or moving to a different location (the French pavilion was moved and became a supermarket).
The exhibition ended in a financial fiasco, with only 18 million visitors instead of the expected 40 million, resulting in a deficit of 2.4 billion marks to be borne by the German taxpayer.
EXPO 2000 achieved its ambition, proving that technological progress throughout the world can and must go hand in hand with the protection of the planet.