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March 9, 2011

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'International community' on Expo site

THE Expo Village, where foreign staff from participating countries stayed, will be turned into an "international community" within five years, local authorities said yesterday.

According to Hong Hao, director of the Shanghai Expo Bureau, the Expo village, at the northeast of the World Expo site, will include residential areas and exhibition and conference facilities.

At one point, there were reports that the city's 100 or so foreign consulates would move to the site. This was denied by Wu Penghong, an official with the information office.

Hong, who did not reveal more details on the international community, said the post-Expo plan for the 3.52-square-kilometer area was almost complete, and locals' opinions would be sought later this year.

He also revealed the blueprints of other areas of the Expo site, including the Expo Boulevard, the Expo Museum and the Urban Best Practices Area.

The five permanent buildings at the Expo site - the Expo Boulevard, the Expo Center, the Expo Theme Center, the China Pavilion and the Mercedes-Benz Arena - will become a business zone hosting exhibitions and conferences. Meanwhile, the Expo Boulevard will be transformed into a high-end shopping street.

At the Puxi section, the basic structure of the UBPA will be retained and form a cultural and recreational area. Several museums will also be located at the Puxi bank of the Huangpu River, Hong added.

Five foreign pavilions - those of Saudi Arabia, Spain, Italy, France and Russia - have been presented to Shanghai.

The Saudi Arabia Pavilion, one of the most popular venues during the six-month event, will be retained with its original look and presentation.

The other four pavilions will have their contents enhanced, with additional cultural, arts and technical elements added.


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