Shanghai World Expo inspires new urbanization trade fair in Germany

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"Better City, Better Life," the motto of the World Expo 2010 on tackling the challenges of urban development, has not only helped achieve the largest-ever world exhibition, but also inspired a new trade fair to be launched next year in Cologne, Germany.

The new fair, titled as "Urban Tech," "will pick up the theme on urban development that has been widely interpreted by many countries and organizations in the year of Expo. It will be launched here in Cologne next year," said Dirk van der Coelen, managing director of Koelnmesse International GmbH, a Cologne-based company commissioned by the German government to organize the country's participation in Expo 2010.

He told Xinhua in a recent interview that with increasing urbanization worldwide, urban development has become a theme of world importance, a theme that the "Urban Tech" fair is expected to build on in the years to come.

He also noted that urban development is particularly relevant to China.

Cologne Mayor Juergen Roters told Xinhua that the new trade fair, scheduled for November next year, will allow exhibitors to present ideas and solutions on issues such as environmental protection and climate protection in megacities.

He has already invited the Chinese capital city of Beijing to join the trade show.

The German Pavilion of the World Expo in Shanghai has won the top prize for interpretation of the Expo theme by presenting "balancity," a city in balance, with ideas and solutions that can have a positive impact on urban development.

According to van der Coelen, the German Pavilion had attracted more than 4 million visitors during the Expo, with waiting time averaging three hours.

"But our goal is not to lock as many visitors as possible, but to encourage them to grip with the urgent problem of urbanization in an informative and entertaining way. And they really did it," he said.

Van der Coelen's company has 25 years of experience in organizing Germany's participation in world exhibitions and he himself has experienced four of them.

"The Expo in Shanghai is of course the largest Expo ever featuring enormous interest of the Chinese population. It will go down in the expo history as a mega event in both quantitative and qualitative terms," he commented.

Van der Coelen was also pleased that a survey of visitors to the German Pavilion has proved that Germany has achieved its Expo goals of presenting itself as an economic nation, a leader in innovation and an attractive place to visit.

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