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Coastal city greens up its act for horticulture event

By Xie Chuanjiao (China Daily)

09:30, April 28, 2013

Restoring the natural beauty of the Laoshan Mountains is a part of the preparatory efforts for the upcoming gala. (China Daily/Hou Xiaohua)

As host, it is striving to be symbol of smart ecology.

The ideals of ecology will be seen in every single tree, road and building, said Li Qun, Party chief of Qingdao, the host city of the 2014 International Horticultural Expo.

Six years after hosting the Olympic and Paralympic sailing events, the city will once again be the focus of the world's attention as the first Chinese coastal city to host an international horticultural expo.

The event will be a people-oriented gala integrating ecological concepts and world-class standards, said Li.

"The expo will be a presentation of harmony between human and nature," he said. "Gardening technologies and approaches will be showcased as much as possible to allow the visitors to interact with nature and get inspiration from it."

Under the theme "From the earth, for the Earth", the expo will be held in a venue covering an area of more than 240 hectares, beside which is a 55-hectare business and service district known as the Expo Village.

The venues are projected to be complete by October, and trial operations will begin at that time.

Expo planners are taking special care to preserve the city's natural beauty, cultural heritage and biodiversity, according to the local government.

The organizers said that they have paid attention to preserving natural resources and landscapes in the process of construction and used modern technologies to restore environments that had been previously damaged.

The restoration includes the famous tourism resort of the Laoshan Mountains.

Known for its high-quality granite, the place used to be home to many quarries, and the economy of many local villages was highly dependent on the stone business. But years of over-exploitation has resulted in heavy damage to the environment.

So, the government has taken measures to "repair the mountains in a natural way".

"We have taken too much from nature, and now it is time to pay back," said Li Fengli, secretary-general of the expo's executive committee.

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