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Shanghai Expo: China reveals concepts for future cities

world Updated: May 03, 2010 01:34 IST
Avijit Ghosal

Vertical cities, bionic towers, water cities — China laid bare the concepts of future urban life in a stunning display at the Shanghai Expo on a 5.28 sq km platter with 192 nations and 50 organisations setting up a show that revolved around better life in better cities.

Vertical cities are structures that can accommodate 100,000 people living and working in them. “Parks, water channels and lakes are all created inside a single building,” described the signages in the Future Pavillions displaying these concepts.

On Saturday as the Expo opened its gates, weekend crowds poured in the grounds and jostled to get a glimpse of the concepts on display.

Bionic towers are structures where shops are recreation areas find space with solar panels and wind turbines. Water cities partially float on water.

“Cities occupy 2.8 per cent of the soil and accommodate 50 per cent of the global population,” a Chinese planner said to explain their focus on cities. The high density vertical growth paradigm can house 20,000 people per sq km, says one signage.

The underlying emphasis of the entire effort seemed a low-carbon lifestyle. China is often described by the developed countries in global fora as an energy guzzling economy.

In the cities of the future the Chinese are moving away from private cars. “They cause traffic jams and cities are not meant to serve a few,” they argue.