The expo is an ungroomed resort presenting raw nature. Photos Provided to China Daily
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Underway in Liaoning province until October
The 2013 World Landscape Art Exposition, one of the world's largest, is now underway in Jinzhou, a coastal city of Liaoning province, from May to October.
With the theme of "City and Sea, Harmonious Future", it focuses on environmental protection and sustainable development.
"The expo is striving to achieve a harmony between human beings and nature by advocating the idea of energy recycling and sustainability," said organizers.
Covering 7 square kilometers, the expo encompasses 3.3 sq km of land and 3.7 sq km of water.
It is designed with a core area, ring road, two axes and six districts.
"The expo is a strategic project for Liaoning to develop coastal economy," the organizers said.
"It will also give Jinzhou a facelift,boost its tourism industry and create job opportunities by improving modern services, all of which will facilitate the city's modernization and raise its overall competitiveness."
As a regional transport hub, Jinzhou is a coastal gateway that connects to inland cities in Northeast China.
It is rated as one of China's top 50 cities in comprehensive strength, according to an official report.
It is now shifting its focus to industries such as new materials, auto parts, fine chemicals and high-tech products.
"It's a win-win solution for Jinzhou to hold the expo. Once desolate Jinzhou Bay has turned into a picturesque and modern land," said organizers.
"Relying on rich tourism resources, the expo combines the profound culture of the city with its natural beauty, and will show a brand-new Jinzhou to visitors," they added.
The expo's central area features the International Exhibition Park and 20 gardens brought to life from designs selected among hundreds of works by renowned landscape architects.
The area is complemented by other amenities such as the adjacent Marine Science Museum and the Bohai Bay Waterscape.
A total of 108 scenic spots are available at the expo, each with its own characteristics.
One is the 15,000-sq-m Plant Fossil Garden, the world's first, which displays 408 fossilized trees from countries including China, the US, Russia and South Africa.
Another is Ancient Ecological Hall with 2,400 fossils discovered in the west of Liaoning province including dinosaurs, birds, fish and plants.
The hall also houses one of the world's largest dinosaur museums.
It covers 2,000 sq m to display more than 100 dinosaur fossils.
A 54,000-sq-m flower field is a must-visit destination for visitors from home and abroad, said organizers.
The ring road that runs 6.8 kilometers around the entire site is designed for both vehicles and pedestrians, connecting all gardens, buildings, performance areas and landscapes.
The expo's east-west axis runs off the main entrance at Starfish Square to Haiyun Avenue and ends in the west with the open classic landscape.
Its north-south axis is designed to exhibit ocean culture starting with the Ancient Ecological Hall and on to the Aqua Theater, Flower Tower and ending at the Taiwan Garden in the south.
Its six districts include zones ranging from hills to a "miracle garden" area, forested land, island and coastal gardens and one representing maritime activities, according to information from organizers.
"The expo will expose Jinzhou to the outside world, help enhance its urban culture and cohesion, and upgrade the city's economic structure, especially in terms of environmental protection," said organizers.
The expo will also display a solar parking lot with a capacity of 2.4 megawatts and a solar energy house with zero fuel consumption.
Many prestigious organizations have lent their weight to the expo including the International Federation of Landscape Architects, the International Association of Horticultural Producers, the China National Tourism Administration and the provincial government of Liaoning.
A maritime city gardening forum will kick off on May 11. The expo committee will also hold a regatta on June 12 in the sea area of the expo, the first in North China.
The Plant Fossil Garden