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CS officiates at conference on vertical density for 100-day Shanghai Expo countdown (with photos/videos)

The Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Henry Tang, officiated this morning (January 21) at the opening ceremony of a conference on vertical density to mark the 100-day countdown to the Shanghai Expo.

Government and city officials, developers, planners and architects from Hong Kong, Shanghai and New York explored how the concentration and growth of global cities could be balanced with an enlargement of the civic realm.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Mr Tang said that this event provided another platform following the success of the first vertical density conference in New York in 2008 for exchanging ideas among the world's largest vertical cities.

"It is also a very fitting prelude to the grand event to be held later this year - the 2010 Shanghai World Expo with the theme 'Better City, Better Life'

"I am delighted that this conference is focusing on one of the most important aspects of high quality city living, our public spaces," Mr Tang said.

He noted that in New York, Shanghai and Hong Kong, there was growing emphasis on open spaces and how to make the best use of them.

"As three of the largest, most successful and dynamic vertical cities on the planet, New York, Shanghai and Hong Kong can all lead by example in providing a green, clean and vibrant city living environment for our future generations.

"I hope you will come and visit the Hong Kong Pavilion at the Shanghai Expo to see more of our ideas for the future," Mr Tang added.

The Vice-Chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, Shanghai, and Vice-Chairperson of the World Expo 2010 Shanghai China Executive Committee, Mr Zhou Hanmin, also officiated at the conference and introduced the Shanghai Expo.

Entitled "Vertical Density, the Public Dimension: A Dialogue between Hong Kong-Shanghai-New York", the conference was organised by the HKSAR Government and the World Expo 2010 Shanghai China Executive Committee, and presented by the Hong Kong | New York Urban Planning Exchange, The American Institute of Architects Hong Kong and The Skyscraper Museum.

It has attracted about 300 industry professionals, students and members of the public to attend.

Keynote speakers included the Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam; Vice President of Tongji University, Shanghai, Professor Wu Jiang; Associate Vice Chancellor for New York University, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Professor Hilary Ballon; Chief Architect of Expo 2010 Shanghai China, Mr Shen Di; and member of the Board and Chairman of the Development Committee of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, Mr Ronald Arculli.

Today's conference is one of a series of promotional activities organised by the HKSAR Government to publicise Hong Kong's participation in the Shanghai Expo.

Hong Kong's Expo involvement covers four aspects: constructing and operating a stand-alone pavilion under the theme of "Hong Kong - A City with Unlimited Potential" to showcase the infinite imagination and creativity of Hong Kong; taking part in the Urban Best Practices Area (UBPA) exhibition with "Smart Card‧Smart City‧Smart Life" as the theme; organising a series of activities and performances in and outside the Expo site during the Expo period; and building a "virtual pavilion" as well as a "virtual UBPA exhibition" for the Expo Shanghai Online project to provide netizens with a realistic, virtual experience of Hong Kong's participation.

Shanghai Expo will be held from May 1 to October 31 this year. More than 240 countries, cities and international organisations including Hong Kong will participate in the mega event, which is expected to attract 70 million visitors from the Mainland and worldwide.

Welcome speech:
Mr Zhou Hanmin, Vice-Chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, Shanghai and Vice-Chairperson of the World Expo 2010 Shanghai China Executive Committee
View Video in Windows Media format
(Video clip in Putonghua only)

Mrs Carrie Lam, Secretary for Development, HKSAR
View Video in Windows Media format
(Video clip in Cantonese only)

Ms Carol WIllis, Founder and Director, The Skyscraper Museum
View Video in Windows Media format

Pre-Expo Forum: "Vertical Density, the Public Dimension : A Dialogue between Hong Kong-Shanghai-New York" Special TV Programme
Video (Windows Media format)
Video (Real Media format)