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Harmony, livable life on Hangzhou forum agenda

Urban planning experts and government officials are discussing how to improve quality of life at a World Expo 2010 forum on Harmonious Cities and Livable Life which opened in Hangzhou City this morning.

About 60 speakers are sharing policies and strategies being used to improve livelihoods in the one-and-a-half-day forum in the capital city of Zhejiang Province, which includes an opening ceremony, plenary session, round-table discussions, six sub-forums and a closing session.

Topics on the sub-forums include cooperation between cities and regions, infrastructures and services in harmonious cities, women's wisdom in building harmonious cities, urban governance and community participation, environment and livable life as well as social policies and harmonious cities.

The theme of Expo 2010 "Better City, Better Life" reflects people's common aspiration and pursuit of a better future, Lu Yongxiang, vice chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress and president of Chinese Academy of Sciences, said at the opening ceremony of the forum. The fair provides a platform for the exchange among different cultures, he noted.

Jiang Weixin, Chinese Minister of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, said how to achieve the harmonious co-existence between people and nature, people and society, people and cities is a common concern across the world and the forum would play a positive role in building harmonious cities and creating a livable life.

Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng said urban expansion contributes to the prosperity of cities and convenience of city life, while it also leads to problems such as overpopulation, traffic congestion, pollution, shortage of resources, poverty and cultural conflicts.

The Expo gives a venue for countries to showcase their pursuit of a better city life and the display at the Urban Best Practices Area reflects cities' attempts towards harmonious cities and livable life.

Lv Zushan, governor of Zhejiang Province, said Zhejiang would take the opportunity of the forum to step up efforts in making people's life better, improving the environment and creating a more harmonious society.

Inga Bj?rk-Klevby, the United Nations Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, said the 2010 World Expo provides a very good example in how to create a better future.

Vicente Loscertales, secretary general of the International Bureau of Expositions, said the Expo forums help deepen people's understanding on harmonious society and well interprets the theme "Better City, Better Life."

A summit forum on urban innovation and sustainable development will be held towards the end of the Expo. Leaders from many countries and the secretary general of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon have been invited to attend and sign a declaration on urban development.

Six Expo theme forums were scheduled to be held in six Chinese cities neighbouring Shanghai. The forum in Hangzhou is the last one.


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