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International garden expo ready to bloom

By Jin Haixing  (China Daily)

12:48, March 12, 2013

Yuan Yuan, mascot of the 9th China (Beijing) International Garden Expo. LI MUYI / FOR CHINA DAILY

Workers are putting the finishing touches on preparations for Beijing's international garden expo, organizers said.

The 9th China (Beijing) International Garden Expo will open on May 18 in southwestern Fengtai district, said Xu Xing, spokeswoman for the expo.

The expo, hosted by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development and Beijing government, will be open for six months and is expected to attract 17 million visitors.

As of Sunday, nearly 50,000 people had applied for volunteer jobs at the expo, Beijing TV reported.

Applicants must take an online test before March 17. The organizing committee said it will recruit 10,000 volunteers.

Investment in 46 gardens created by 59 Chinese cities reached 200 million yuan ($32 million), with a total exhibition area of 140,000 square meters, the organizing committee said.

Thirty-four cities and institutions from 25 countries will join the expo.

As of Friday, 90 percent of construction for the expo had been completed and a wetlands project in the expo park was finished, Xu said.

Meishikou Road, which will be 8.5 km long when construction is finished in late April, was listed as one of the key projects under the municipal government's plan to boost development of the southern area.

That road will help ease traffic and connect the two sides of the Yongding River in Fengtai district, Beijing Youth Daily reported.

In all, 24.2 km of roads are being built nearby to support the expo and improve traffic conditions in the western area along Yongding River.

According to Beijing's traffic authority, the western section of subway Line 14 will open on May 5, in time to serve crowds attending the expo, including Garden Expo Station.

According to Xu, the design and construction of the expo featured energy conservation and environmentally friendly concepts.

Wetlands surrounding the 40-hectare park will purify 80,000 cubic meters of recycled water a day, ensuring good water quality, block wind and reduce dust in the air, and make the temperature difference between day and night more even.

The expo park site used to be barren ground, covered with sparse vegetation. After construction, 147 hectares of green area will appear in the site.

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