World Expo Shanghai organizers yesterday started construction on the first national pavilions for the 2010 event.
The pavilions will house the exhibitions of participating countries, including Germany, Japan and Benin.
An artist's rendition of the World Expo Site in Pudong. Work started yesterday on the event's national pavilions.
Organizers said they hope the first pavilions will be finished by the end of the year and set the standard for participants.
They also hoped they would serve as an incentive for countries who have yet to confirm their participation.
Organizers also said yesterday unforeseen problems may lie ahead for builders.
"We can find out the problems in advance and optimize our plans," said Bai Wenhua, chairman of Shanghai World Expo Land Holding Co.
Workers are building everything from pavilions and elevated pedestrian ways to landscaping and toilets.
Though the area is now being used as a trial zone for all kinds of site construction, organizers said the project has been carefully planned.
Small adjustments are possible, but the main blueprint will not change, they said.
The 17.7-hectare area currently under construction is in the east of the Expo's Pudong section.
It will be the exhibition area for Asian countries.
Most of the pavilions in the site will be torn down after the Expo is over. Organizers said they will use environmentally friendly materials.
All construction work for the Expo will be completed by December 2009.
The construction projects include:
Public services facilities, such as restaurant, shops, an emergency medical center, banks, post offices and toilets.
An elevated pedestrian way. Six meters above the ground, the elevated way will connect the outdoor space and main entrances with the pavilions.
A square in front of the entrances and exits as well as a parking lot.
(Shanghai Daily May 22, 2007)