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Shanghai World Expo 2010 - half-time review - 05/08/2010

EU-pavillon at the Shanghai World Expo 2010 © EU

EU shows off cutting-edge technologies for sustainable cities.

Halfway through its 6-month run, the World Expo has already attracted some 37 million visitors - and shown them what sustainable urban development is all about. In effect, the Expo is presenting a vision of the future for the world's city-dwellers - a big chunk of humanity: worldwide, around half the global population live in cities, with numbers rising all the time.

So far, around 30 000 visitors a day have been coming to the EU pavillion - the first ever at an Expo outside Europe - to explore European ideas about the sustainable cities of the future, in tune with overall theme of the Expo: "better city - better life".

Over 5 million people are expected to visit the Belgian-EU pavillon with its 3D animated tour on "green Europe" covering EU initiatives on climate protection and urban environments.

EU trade commissioner Karel De Gucht stressed the importance of the trade in cutting-edge environmental technology when he visited the Expo for the "Trade Days" at the end of July. China is Europe's fastest-growing export market, importing EU goods worth €82 billion in 2009.

"A greener Europe for a greener world" will be the theme for a meeting between European and Chinese experts in September. One topic for discussion will be increased cooperation on urban development.

Aside from the big displays on cities of the future, the next 3 months will feature plenty of European culture for visitors to experience first-hand. In early September, visitors to the EU pavillion will have a chance to sample live opera at the European opera festival. That will be followed by European Night of the Arts in October, when young artists from all over Europe will turn the whole European zone into a gigantic open-air stage.

And football will feature again in the second half of the Expo. During the World Cup, matches were screened live in front of the Belgian-EU pavillion; at the end of September, pavillion-patron and UEFA-president Michel Platini will be drawing crowds to the EU pavillion for the European football festival.

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