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River city has same challenges

THE German city of Dusseldorf wants to build closer ties with Shanghai and China during the six-month Expo 2010.

Mayor Dirk Elbers, who has visited Shanghai twice since the city's pavilion opened on May 2, said yesterday that the Expo is a unique opportunity to continue the strategy of attracting more Chinese firms to set up and develop close relations with the city.

Planning a series of activities about the city's pavilion on themes of culture, city cooperation, business, architecture and lifestyle, Elbers will keep visiting Shanghai.

The mayor believes the cities share similarities: both having rivers running through them and are famous for economic development.

Elbers said Dusseldorf and Shanghai can learn from each other and have more communication.

Located on the banks of the River Rhine and linked by underground tunnels, Dusseldorf displays its balance between economic strength and quality of life at the Urban Best Practices Area.

One of the city's presentations is restoration of the old city on the Rhine by turning the river bank road into a tunnel.

"We brought the city back to the Rhine by diverting traffic to a tunnel and converting former roads into pedestrian promenades," said Elbers. "More people are living in the city's downtown now."

"I noticed Shanghai did the same thing - transport goes underground along the Bund area in Puxi," said Elbers.


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