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A spirit of cooperation

SHANGHAI has so far reached five agreements with overseas cities on urban planning and development projects since the Expo started, according to a memorandum released by the Urban Best Practices Area yesterday.

The collaborative projects between Shanghai and cities participating in the Expo mainly focus on future urban development - including areas of public housing, renovation and the building of environmentally friendly communities.

Sun Liansheng, the director of the UBPA, said something could be learned from every display at the UBPA - the key is just to find the right example for Shanghai to follow. "To some extent, one city can just copy the successful practice (of another)."

Shanghai's housing authority will sign a cooperation memorandum with its Madrid counterpart on public housing. The agreement between the two cities was signed at Madrid's display at the UBPA, a replica of the Bamboo House, a building designed for people on low incomes. It is seen as a model that the local Shanghai government's new housing project can follow.

Madrid embarked on a project in 2003 that required 50 percent of new housing complexes to cater for public housing.

Huangpu District which has renovated 4,500 buildings in the Yuyuan Garden area, covering two square kilometers, has reached an agreement with Barcelona on renovation projects. The Spanish city's experience accumulated over 24 years of renovation projects has been a key influence on the district's development plan for the next five years.

Shanghai will also promote the concept of carpooling after the Expo with the cooperation of the German city of Bremen, which exhibited the city's low-carbon transport initiatives and other methods to tackle urban transport problems. In contrast to people sharing private cars in Bremen, Shanghai passengers will be sharing rented vehicles.

Montreal has signed a three-year deal with Shanghai, seeking cooperation on public health and environmental protection initiatives and the Rhone-Alpes region of France is planning to build an eco-community in Shanghai.

Sun also said that Shanghai could learn from Taipei, which largely cut its garbage disposal problems after starting a recycling project.

The cities of Beijing and Tangshan, also signed cooperation memorandums with London and Malmo respectively.


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