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Qingdao gets chance to shine on world stage

Updated: 2012-07-11 08:02
By Xie Chuanjiao and Zhuan Ti (China Daily)

 Qingdao gets chance to shine on world stage

Artist's conceptualization of an aerial view of the proposed layout for the 2014 Qingdao International Horticultural Expo. Photos Provided to China Daily

 Qingdao gets chance to shine on world stage

A rendition of the Theme Pavilion, one of the two landmark buildings of the 2014 Qingdao International Horticultural Exposition. Its design inspired by the China rose, the pavilion resembles petals.

Qingdao gets chance to shine on world stage

Exhibition is the biggest event the coastal city has held since hosting the 2008 Olympic Regatta

Editor's Notes: Qingdao, a coastal city in East China's Shandong province, put itself in the international spotlight when it hosted the Olympic Sailing Regatta and Paralympic Games in 2008, and it will once again gain worldwide fame as the host of the Qingdao International Horticultural Expo in 2014, when the city will demonstrate its stunningly beautiful scenery and supremely livable environment to the world once more.

Six years after hosting the Olympic and Paralympic sailing events, the city of Qingdao in Shandong province is poised to capture the world's attention once more in 2014 as the host of the International Horticultural Expo.

With the theme "From the earth, for the Earth", the expo will open in April 2014 and last until October. The organizers expect around 12 million visitors to attend the event.

The most-splendid horticultural artworks and latest gardening technologies will be presented to visitors from all over the world along with the city's characteristics that are synonymous with its brand - oceans, beaches, beer, the Olympics and an ecological environment.

As a professional non-trade expo, the International Horticultural Expo shows varieties of rare plants and the latest gardening technologies. It is regarded as the "Olympics" in the field of horticultural science.

"Qingdao is now faced with an unparalleled chance to elevate its development level and raise its profile by hosting such an international event," said Li Qun, Party chief of the city, in a recent interview.

"But at the same time, it also brings new challenges and new tests to the city's comprehensive capabilities," he said.

The city government has planned a "world-class expo with Chinese style and local features". It has introduced international standards and technologies in venue planning and construction, events management, services and attracting investment.

"Along with the global standards, we will also add local elements to demonstrate local characteristics," said Li. "We will also take the chance to improve the city's environment and functions and upgrade its quality to build an internationalized modern city."

"The expo should be unique in its culture," said Wang Jianxiang, deputy mayor of Qingdao. "We have paid much attention to how to display and integrate culture into the plan."

Wu Zhiqiang, the chief planner of the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, has been invited to plan the Qingdao horticultural expo. His overall plan was approved by an expert panel in March this year.

The main venue of the expo is located in the Baiguo Mountain Forest Park, a forest park that is a 30-minute drive from downtown Qingdao. It is also not far from the Laoshan Mountain, which is one of the best-known tourism destinations in the city. In the venue there are mountains, hills, rocks, a reservoir and forests of all kinds.

Qingdao is one of the very few mountainous areas that have been selected to host the horticultural expo, but this venue reflects the ideas of famous Chinese horticulturist Ji Cheng in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), who believed that mountains and forests are the best places to build gardens.

The plan combines traditional Chinese concepts of harmony between heaven and earth with latest architecture technologies. The seven parks in the site are themed on the sun, the moon, metal, wood, water, fire and earth, the seven elements in ancient Chinese philosophy.

The construction of a number of pavilions in the venue has been completed, along with two-thirds of the roads, cable and pipeline networks in the venue.

Wang said the expo will "take the lead in the world in at least 10 aspects".

"For example, the garden-roofed buildings will appear at the expo for the first time, and the WiFi coverage area will be the widest," he said. "And we will have the largest mountain-top fountain in the world."

One of the parks in the venue has been set aside for cities in Shandong province to showcase their rich cultures.

"We are expecting all participating cities to bring their best designs, combining both local features and latest city development, to make ancient Shandong culture and modern innovation better understood by the outside world," said Wang.

Contact the writers at and zhangzhao@

(China Daily 07/11/2012 page12)

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