China / Society

Landscape expo to boost coastal Jinzhou

By Liu Xiangrui ( Updated: 2012-11-10 21:29

The 2013 World Landscape Art Exposition, which is scheduled to be held next year in Jinzhou, Liaoning province, will serve as a huge platform for development for the coastal city, said its Party chief Wang Wenquan.

Wang, who is a delegate to the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China currently going on in Beijing, was speaking in an interview Saturday.

The coming exposition was decided at the annual meeting of the Association Internationale des producteurs de l'Horticulure (AIPH), a major international horticultural organization, in October 2011.

The event, jointly supported by the Association of International Horticultural Producers and the International Federation of Landscape Architects, will be based on the theme of "the city and the sea, a future in harmony".

It will be from May to October 2013.

"It's the first time that the two international organizations have worked together on an expo event," Wang said.

The exposition, themed City and Sea, Harmonious in Future, will focus on the city's oceanic characteristics and promote a harmonious human-marine culture, Wang said.

Located in Longqi Bay, in Jinzhou, the exposition area is planned to cover about 7 sq km, with 3.3 sq km on land and the rest at sea.

The IFLA International Exhibition Park will be the expo's main site, divided into six parts, and present 20 world-class gardens designed by a selected group of international landscape architects.

A science creative marine museum, a waterscape park and a flower belt is added to it.

World-class production companies and artists will be invited to the expo. Meanwhile, each of Liaoning's 14 cities will build an exhibition hall, too.

According to Wang, an estimated 10 million people will visit the city during the six months of the event.

As a third-tier city, Jinzhou may face challenges hosting such an international event, including the surge of visitors, Wang said, and it is building more hotels and restaurants in advance.

But he believes that bringing the event is good for the long-term development of Jinzhou.

"Such a high-level exposition will be a platform for us to enhance Jinzhou's openness and reputation internationally," Wang said.

"As tourists increase in the future, all kinds of social and economic benefits will show themselves."

Wang said the park's construction cost is estimated to be at 200 million yuan ($32 million), mainly for the surface buildings and technical treatment of the soil to prevent saline and alkaline underground, as the park is built on waste saltpan or mudflats.

"But the benefits will be far greater than the spending," said Wang, adding that the land price around the park has already quadrupled since it started construction.

Wang added that most of the population of Jinzhou, which has maintained an inland-based economy, have stayed in its old city area.

But the infrastructure upgrades and expansion of the urban area combined with the construction of the exposition park can help boost a coastal economy and gradually redistribute the city's dense population.

According to Wang, the park's main buildings will be transformed into a city park after the exposition, which can attract more residents and businesses to the new zone.

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