SHANGHAI -- Almost 23,000 advertisement hoardings in the city have been removed or renovated as part of a beautification campaign ahead of the 2010 World Expo, officials said on Tuesday.
"Till November, we have dismantled 1453 unauthorized outdoor billboards, which is half of our target, and renovated another 21,629 hoardings," Lu Jianping, deputy director with the Shanghai Expo Preparation Office, said.
The municipality plans to bring down and renovate some 47,000 poorly erected hoardings before the expo kicks off, he said.
Inspired by the renovation of Beijing's public toilets before the Games, Shanghai had planned to construct 1,039 new toilets before 2010.
As of now, the city has 3,000 public toilets, which are not enough for the projected number of tourists visiting Shanghai during the expo.
Toilets will also be built on the city's busiest subway lines 1 and 2, currently the only lines without a public facility, he said.
The hosts estimate that as many as 100,000 volunteers would be required for the expo.
Chen Zhenmin, deputy director of the Shanghai Spiritual Civilization Office, told China Daily that they were also discussing a plan to invite foreign volunteers for the event, but only those who were studying or working in China.
"We will approach local communities and governments to get volunteers," said Chen, adding most of the candidates will be college students.
Meanwhile, the organizers yesterday launched a nationwide campaign called "Expo city stars".
As part of the 600-day drive, up to 30,000 individuals, who preserve energy and maintain a healthy lifestyle will be bestowed with the "Expo city star" title.
"There are no restrictions on the nationality of applicants. They could be from Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan or even other countries," Chen Xianjin, deputy director of Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination, said.
(China Daily 12/18/2008 page4)