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October 9, 2010

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Makeover for Expo site

THE World Expo site will transform into a place for cultural exchanges, high-level exhibitions and public spaces for citizens after the event ends on October 31, Shanghai's Vice Mayor Yang Xiong said yesterday.

The site will showcase the city's culture and not just merely be a place for business use, Yang told local citizens during a broadcast interview.

The Expo Center, Culture Center and the Houtan Park along the Huangpu River will open to citizens as activity centers.

However, he said most foreign and corporate pavilions will be dismantled after the Expo because they would not have much use and maintaining them would be costly.

The innovative shapes of some of the pavilions, such as the boat-shaped Saudi Arabia Pavilion, would have limited usefulness after the event, he explained. As most pavilions were designed to be temporary buildings they would need to be renovated after several years, he added.

Based on previous World Expo experiences, most pavilions that remained were discarded after two or three years.

The International Exposition Bureau, the governing body of World Expos, also stipulated that the pavilions must be dismantled after the world event.

The city government, however, will build an Expo 2010 Memorial Museum to house some of the pavilions' innovative designs and exhibitions, Yang said.

The Expo organizer was in discussions with some pavilions about donating popular exhibits, such as Miguelin, a 6.5-meter electronically animated baby in the Spain Pavilion, to the museum, Yang said.

He assured citizens the city's traffic will be smooth and the air quality will be as clean as during the Expo after the event ended.

"From now on, people will often see the blue sky and white clouds in Shanghai," the vice mayor said.

Yang also disclosed there are plans to implement security checks at Metro stations that use less manpower after the Expo.

People have become accustomed to putting their bags and luggages through X-ray machines before entering the stations but the government was considering new measures that would use fewer persons, he added.

Yang said the city government will promote some cutting-edge technologies, especially those being exhibited at the Urban Best Practices Area in the Puxi Expo site, to residential buildings.

The plant-covered ventilation system being exhibited in Shanghai's Eco-house UBPA has been used in some newly built houses in the city, Yang revealed.


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