Towards the end of the sixties, the negative consequences of industrial advancement also impacted on every day life in the "New Japan". Experience of the destruction of the environment, the degradation of traditional Japanese culture into a mere article of leisure time luxury, a growing population existing in barren, inhuman conurbations, with only the march of mechanisation in everyday life as a substitute for that lost: all of these presented the planners of the exposition with a major challenge - how to fuse "Asian" harmony with progressive Western attitudes.
The EXPO plans were not limited only to the Exposition site proper in the hills of Senri. It was intended to make the remodelling of Osaka itself into an example of how to improve the conditions of life through structural measures. Industry was for the most part banned from the city limits in designated areas, tree lined avenues and parks on the river were to create oases within the city. By implementing targeted environmental protection measures, such as water treatment plants and filter systems it proved possible to greatly reduce the levels of water and air pollution. Changes to the transport system which had long been in the planning pipeline, such as the construction of a modern airport or the expansion of the underground system and its coordination with the express rail services, were brought to fruition by the time EXPO ´70 opened its doors. The Shin-Middo-Suji motorway and the railway line built between the carriageways joined the centre of the city to the EXPO grounds. Traffic was monitored by a new type of computer system. A state-of-the-art telecommunications network, data transmission via laser beams, and the use over 100 computers at EXPO proclaimed Japan's innovative power in electronics. Between 1963 and 1969 an artificial residential city, Suita, was created between the city and the EXPO grounds. The architectural concept adopted preserved green areas, kept residential areas to a more compact size and guaranteed good transport links to the inner city, and was intended to alleviate the high population density problems of Osaka. The total costs for the infrastructural improvements were 2.3 billion US-Dollars.
|Duration: 5 March - 13 September 1970