Suwon City gets ready for world’s first ecomobility festival

SUWON, South Korea - With the countdown to the world's first ecomobility festival underway, the South Korean city of Suwon is making last-minute preparations to greet visitors from home and abroad, of

Suwon City gets ready for world’s first ecomobility festival

SUWON, South Korea – With the countdown to the world’s first ecomobility festival underway, the South Korean city of Suwon is making last-minute preparations to greet visitors from home and abroad, officials said Thursday.

The city, located 30 kilometers south of Seoul, is hosting the EcoMobility World Festival 2013 from Sept. 1-30, which will bring together the latest eco-friendly mobile vehicles and technologies from around the globe.

It has invested 13 billion won (US$11.5 million) to refurnish outdated roads, buildings and public facilities in the downtown area to better fit the festival’s theme of “green city of the future”, according to officials.

Streets have been streamlined with reinstalled hydro wires and roadside trees to create a more eco-friendly atmosphere, especially around designated sites where ecomobile vehicles will be test run by visitors and local residents during the event, they said.

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Local businesses are taking various initiatives, too. They are organizing a wide range of events such as traditional markets, craft workshops and singing contests that visitors can enjoy on the sidelines of the festival.

Printing and crafts shops, which the region is originally well-known for, are churning out new pieces and souvenirs, expecting to meet wider tourist demands.

The lively atmosphere that comes with the festival is welcome news to the local economy, which has stagnated over the years due to government regulations imposed on it as the area sits inside the Hwaseong Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Suwon City is hoping to promote itself as a leader of sustainable development through this event, organizers for the festival said. It has set a 40 percent reduction target on its carbon emission by 2030.

“With this festival, we will work together to show what an ecomobile city looks like and deliver the message that this new urban lifestyle is possible,” Suwon Mayor Yeom Tae-young said in a statement.

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