LIVERPOOL, Britain, Oct. 30 (Xinhua) -- Events to celebrate World Cities Day, an annual event inspired by China, kicked off in Liverpool Tuesday with a major exhibition highlighting the changing landscape of Shanghai and other Chinese cities.
The exhibition at the city's central library was opened by Dr Cheng Jian, director of Shanghai Coordination Center of World Cities Day.
The event is a curtain raiser to a day of events across Liverpool Wednesday on what will be World Cities Day.
Normally libraries are places where people whisper or talk quietly, but the normal tranquility of Central Library was shattered by the he noise of a traditional drum-led lion dance.
In his keynote opening speech Cheng Jian said: "World Cities Day is the spiritual heritage of Expo 2010 in Shanghai and it continues the idea of better city, better life.
"Through the efforts by UN Human Settlements Program, the Chinese government and Shanghai city, World Cities Day is set on October 31 every year by the UN for governments of different countries and the international community to solve the urbanization problem and to encourage international cities to face the challenges and opposition brought by urbanization."
He said World Cities Day in Liverpool, hosted by the UN's Humans Settlement Program as well as the Shanghai Government and Liverpool City Council, takes place during China Week in Liverpool, one of the events marking the 10th anniversary of the city celebrating being declared European Capital of Culture.
The exhibition's has adopted as its theme "Eco-City, Green Development", promoting the creation of an ecological city which is innovative and coordinated.
Cheng Jian said the Shanghai and Xuzhou and Enterprises Exhibition highlights excellent achievements in construction and urban sustainable development in Chinese cities.
It shows, he said, the style and charm of Chinese cities and enterprises, saying he hoped it would be a platform of communication and cooperation between China and Britain.
Next year, he added, Liverpool and Shanghai celebrate the 20th anniversary of signing a sister city agreement.
Cheng Jian presented as a gift a paper-cut picture of the famous Shanghai skyline to John Keane, head of Liverpool Libraries. Keane said the picture would take pride of place in the library.