Two local city planning students have submitted a new proposal for Expo '76-a cluster of small, simultaneous world's fairs along the East Coast.
James R. Chard, a third-year student in City Planning, and Robert M. Hollister, a Ph.D. candidate in city planning at M.I.T. and a former GSD student, have suggested a regional fair with exhibitions in eight cities, including Boston, currently in competition for the site of Expo '76.
Under this alternate plan, Polis '76, the cities would be linked by a coastal transportation network sponsored by the Federal government. Exhibits in each of the cities would be determined by the long-range needs of the city: a new theater in one, better parks in another. "Boston's exhibit, for example, might include the needed stadium, which would attract fair-goers and serve the community after the end of the fair," Chard said.
"Polis '76 would encourage permanent improvements in the city," Chard said yesterday, "instead of being just a set of isolated exhibits." He said that he hoped the attraction of the fair would be "an inducement to the Federal government to build the inter-city transportation."
Chard criticized the usual one-city format. "Traditional fairs are becoming too large and expensive for one city to handle," he said. The multiple-site plan would also hold "to an absolute minimum the displacement of residences and businesses."
Chard and Hollister have sent their plan to the President's American Revolution Bicentennial Commission, which
will choose a site and a format for the fair.
The Commission is holding a hearing today in Washington to hear supporters and opponents of the Boston Harbor site for the fair. Governor Sargent and Boston Mayor Kevin H. White support the project, which would fill part of Boston Harbor off Columbia Point and build some of the exhibits on the Harbor Islands.
But other City and state officials strongly oppose the plan. The Boston City Council voted unanimously two weeks ago in opposition to the site, and Louise Day Hicks, now a candidate for the City Council, has been invited to speak against the plan at the hearing.
Opponents of the Harbor site object to the cost to city and state governments. State Senate President Maurice A. Donahue said Monday that the necessary state appropriations (estimated at $175 million) could not be "justified in terms of proper ordering of social priorities."
About twelve members of the Sierra Club picketed the Kennedy Building in Government Center yesterday to protest the proposed Harbor fill-in. Paul Swatek, a spokesman for the conservationists, said the plan would "only compound existing pollution and transportation problems." and labeled Boston Expo a "land-grab."
Also at the protest was the South Boston Residents Group, who claim that some residential property would be torn down to make room for the exhibition.