Home Nation World Business Science/Technology Photo Gallery Arts & Culture Special Health Video
Special> 60th Anniversary of The People's Republic of China> Discovering China> Shanghai
UPDATED: May-9-2009 NO. 19 MAY 14, 2009
Ready for the Event
Preparations for World Expo 2010 Shanghai go into high gear

COUNTDOWN: The city has made preparations in all aspects for the coming Shanghai Expo 2010 (WEI YAO)

With the color red finally beginning to appear on the outside of the China Pavilion in April 2009, the centerpiece of the World Expo 2010 Shanghai entered its last phase of construction. All that remains now is the electrical wiring and exterior decorations.

Near the China Pavilion, Japan's entry for the Expo has also been under construction since February 27, 2009. When complete, the building will look like a castle in space. Beside it sit two of six "sun valleys," a project that will capture sunlight and disperse it along the boulevard of the Shanghai Expo. "If we compare the whole construction of the World Expo to a 100-meter run, now we only have 20 meters left," said chief planner Wu Zhiqiang. "Now we are averaging 15,000 construction workers a day on the site and we are at the final push."

Expo site

The Shanghai Expo is located between the Nanpu and Lupu bridges that cross the banks of the Huangpu River. The site occupies 5.28 square km, with 3.93 square km in Pudong and 1.35 square km in Puxi.

The enclosed area for ticket collecting covers about 3.22 square km, excluding the water surface area of the Huangpu River. The total area of the pavilions is about 850,000 square meters and their enclosed area is divided into five zones: A, B, C, D and E.

Zone A will hold the China Pavilion and other Asian pavilions, excluding those from southeast Asia. Zone B holds the Theme Pavilion, those from southeast Asia and Oceania, international organizations and performance centers. Zone C holds the European, New World, African and international organization pavilions. Zone D holds corporate pavilions. Zone E is also for corporate pavilions and the urban best practices area (UBPA).

The China Pavilion has been in the spotlight since construction started on it in December 2007. Unlike traditional buildings, which are constructed wider at the base, the China Pavilion looks two times larger at the top than at the bottom. It has four reinforced concrete pillars spaced 70 meters apart that form the foundation. The pillars support increasingly larger floors while the roofline stretches a total of 140 meters, exactly doubling the length of the base. The roof is equivalent to that of two and a half football fields. It is supposed to be complete by the end of 2009, a year before building construction under normal conditions.

Also beginning in 2007, builders began construction on the sample group, which includes 16 foreign pavilions with floor space totaling 34,000 square meters, public facilities, an elevated pedestrian's walk, an entrance/exit plaza, a parking area and landscaping. The sample group area is located in the eastern part of Zone A and covers 177,000 square meters.

Zone E's UBPA is an innovation not seen in World Expo history over the last 150 years. For the first time, cities are given a chance to participate in the World Expo as an independent player. The UBPA will show practices that have been implemented by cities to improve the quality of urban life, and have been universally recognized for their innovation and popularity. The models will demonstrate successful practices that exemplify urban development in the future.

The foundation for the UBPA, which covers 151,000 square meters, was laid on March 20, 2008, and expected to be complete in September 2009.

"The main concepts of the Shanghai Expo will penetrate into all the projects and ensure visitors fully experience the spirit of the event," said Wu. "Whether a visitor is appreciating exhibits inside the pavilion, walking on the road, lingering in the plazas, or watching performances, the visitor will have a very vivid experience of the good life in such a beautiful city."

Hong Hao, Director of the Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination, said that so far none of the confirmed attendees have withdrawn from the event despite the negative impacts from the global economic slowdown."

All the participating countries endeavor to show their unique cultures in the design of their pavilions. The Poland Pavilion is designed like a paper cutting. The United Kingdom Pavilion will be a huge "light box" with 60,000 spines projecting out into the air. The Luxembourg Pavilion is like a castle in the forest.

Visitors will be amazed by the innovative designs of more than 200 pavilions, as well as the splendid culture of different countries. Meanwhile, it is estimated that a total of about 20,000 events will be held during the Expo, which will last 184 days. More than 100 performances will be staged every day.

For those who can't go to the Expo site, there is a project called Shanghai Expo Online, which will offset at least some of the regret. It is another extension of the physical Expo and it will make sure the curtain for the real event never falls.

Getting ready

Along with the Expo site construction, the work outside the site is also on track.

Hong said more than 1 million tickets for the Shanghai Expo have been sold, of which approximately 180,000 were snatched up on the first day of sales. Tickets for groups went on sale on March 26, 2009, and the booking for individual entrance tickets is due to start on July 1, 2009. Hong also said the budget for the Expo stands at 10.6 billion yuan ($1.55 billion), 6 billion yuan ($877 million) of which will be covered by revenue from ticket sales.

According to Dao Shuming, Director of the Shanghai Municipal Tourism Administration, there will be about 500 hotels and 4,000 hostels with an estimated capacity of 500,000 beds in operation in Shanghai by 2010. In addition, the neighboring Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces will also offer 150,000 beds during the Expo.

"Now we are conducting many kinds of trainings, including language and skills training, in Shanghai's service industry," said Dao.

Visitors will also find a public service system that involves other cities in the Yangtze River Delta, so that they will be able to visit more places within the region without inconvenience, Dao said.

And to ensure adequate public transit during the Shanghai Expo, the city will extend six subway lines and put more than 1,000 new trains into service by the end of 2009, said Ying Minghong, Deputy Chief Commander of the Commanding Department of the Shanghai Rail Transit Construction. By 2010, Shanghai will have 13 subway lines incorporating 400 km of rails. The new four-station line 13 covering the Expo area will open in 2010.

World Expo Facts

According to the regulations of the Bureau of International Expositions, world expositions can be divided into two categories based on their scale and duration. One is the registered international exhibition, which usually lasts six months. These expositions are held every five years after 2000, while the other is the recognized one with the duration of three months on average.

The first World Expo was held in London in 1851. More than 14,000  articipants from 25 countries and 15 British colonies brought a million items to display.

Thirteen countries have since hosted more than 40 World Expos. Since the 1958 Brussels Expo, international organizations such as the United Nations and the European Union have been frequent participants.

The Shanghai Expo will last for 184 days from May 1 to October 31, 2010 and expects to attract 70 million visitors.

(Source: Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination)

Pan Duo
Yuan Longping
Chen Guangbiao
Chen Zhangliang
Zheng Xiaoying
Song Dafang
Jiang Qingliang
Liu Jinyan
Hu Fei
NO. 40, 1959
NO. 40, 1969
NO. 40, 1979
NO. 40, 1989
NO. 42, 1999
About BEIJINGREVIEW | About beijingreview.com | Rss Feeds | Contact us | Advertising | Subscribe & Service | Make Beijing Review your homepage
Copyright Beijing Review All right reserved