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Expo to Show Urban Best Practices
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Cities from across the globe are vying to bring a slice of their local life to the 2010 Shanghai Expo.

A 15-hectare zone, called the Urban Best Practices Area has been set aside at the Expo, where, for the first time in the event's history, a number of cities will show off cutting-edge architecture and design concepts.

The Bureau of Shanghai Expo Coordination announced on Friday that the selection process for cities vying to take part would be extended by a further five months to January 31 next year.

So far, 13 cities, including Liverpool, Zurich, Madrid and Sao Paulo, have filed formal applications to take part in the zone on the west bank of the Huangpu River, said the bureau.

In addition, a further 58 cities or regions have approached the organizer for information and 26 have held discussions with Expo organizers, the bureau said.

Selected cities will create blocks including real urban scenes with housing, streets and waterways.

The cities will also show how they are striving to protect historically important architecture and safeguard the environment.

Zhou Hanmin, deputy director of the coordination bureau, said that cities showing how they are using clean energy or working to create a more comfortable living environment may be preferred.

"I believe the development of Shanghai exactly reflects the transition from the use of traditional energy to environmentally friendly energy, and the conservation of local styles in traditional buildings while making them more comfortable to live in," he said.

An international selection committee will review all the proposals and have the final say, but the bureau did not say when the finalists would be announced.

A total of 163 countries and international organizations have so far confirmed their participation in the 2010 Expo.

(China Daily September 1, 2007)

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