Shanghai Expo experiences inspire hope for more responsive, participatory government

16:44, October 19, 2010      

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Wu Jiangmin visited the Shanghai World Exposition in early August. There, while queuing outside the Japan pavilion, she saw rubbish strewn all over the ground and not a rubbish bin in sight.

After returning home, she made a suggestion through the official Expo website: "Why don't you put some rubbish bins where people queue to enter the Japan pavilion?"

Not long after that, she received a call from an Expo manager who discussed the issue with her. The manager promised to remedy the situation as soon as possible.

Actually, several other visitors had also made similar suggestions to Expo organizers.

Visitors now find garbage bags near the Japan pavilion queuing area every five to 10 meters, and sanitation at the Expo overall has also improved considerably.

At the beginning of the Expo, which opened on May 1, just 200,000 visitors caused headaches for the organizers. But last weekend, they successfully dealt a record one million visitors.

With more umbrellas, fences, fans, signs, and wheelchairs, facilities and service at the Expo park have greatly improved, as the Expo's conclusion draws closer.

"All the changes were made in accordance with visitors' complaints and suggestions," said Qian Bojin, director of the Expo visitors' service center.

by Xinhua writers Wu Chen, Xu Xiaoqing and Li Yunlu
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