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November 24, 2010

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Expo urban showcase to remain on display

THE Urban Best Practices Area at the World Expo 2010 will remain as a showcase for good urban development and not be developed into an entertainment district as was previously mooted, city officials said yesterday.

All its 80 exhibitors from cities around the world have agreed to leave their pavilions or some exhibits there.

These will be modified for a long-term exhibition, said Huang Jianzhi, deputy director general of the Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination.

The area will keep absorbing the newest urban practices case studies to show city officials and citizens, he told members of Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference's Shanghai Committee, or the city's top advisory body.

And an international research institution will be set up to manage the area and conduct research.

Tang Zilai, chief Expo designer for the area, had said he hoped the site would become an office, bar and entertainment area - like the city's Xintiandi area - after the Wold Expo.

The proposal had been welcomed by some local people but Huang vetoed the entertainment plan yesterday, declaring that the city "already has one."

The 151,200-square-meter area features more than 50 buildings. Most are replicas of buildings proven to be environmentally friendly, energy efficient or examples of how to protect older structures.

"The Expo organizer wants to keep the area as a legacy of Expo 2010," Huang said.

Meanwhile, more than 200 new-energy vehicles will be another legacy from the Expo to serve local citizens, the committee heard.

Two new bus lines will be equipped with electric Expo buses, while another 120 electric buses will run at the city's downtown area, with charging sta tions to be built, said Chen Jie, chief engineer of the Shanghai Science and Technology Commission.

The China Pavilion opens to the public again next Wednesday, with ticket prices of less than 80 yuan (US$12).


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