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The World Expo is coming to a close, and it's clearly left an indelible imprint on both the host city and its people. As Zhang Nini discovers, both have undergone tremendous changes in the past eight years, since Shanghai won the bid to host.
The World Expo is giving China's commercial hub a revamp, but how has its advent impacted Shanghai's inhabitants?
44-year-old Gong Yibin has been driving an Expo Taxi since April. A two-decade veteran of the business, he keeps himself energized by working out regularly in the gym. The seasoned cabbie also listens to CRI, and speaks five languages.
Gong Yibin is one of eight-thousand individuals selected to work shifts driving the specially commissioned vehicles. All of them had to meet three major requirements ... no traffic accidents in the last five years, master basic English conversation skills, and possess no criminal records.
|The World Expo is coming to a close, and it's clearly left an indelible imprint|
on both the host city and its people.
He says the World Expo has changed both him, and the host city.
Gong Yibin said, "Tourists from around the world are coming to Shanghai now. I have more customers, and earn an additional 20 percent every month. Public transportation has made this city more convenient for people."
Zhang Nini, CCTV Reporter, said, "In the eight years since Shanghai won the bid to host Expo 2010, a massive upgrade ... has made their lives much better."
The acceleration of urban renewal has been Shanghai's defining feature in the past five years. A metropolitan infrastructure upgrade program has been undertaken, on a scale surpassing pre-Olympic efforts in Beijing.
Construction of the 5.28 square kilometer Expo Park has led to the city's largest relocation project ever, involving about 18,000 households, and 272 factories, including the 142-year-old Jiangnan Shipyard, the cradle of China's modern industry.
About 45 billion US dollars were allocated for the urban makeover.
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