Reform and Opening-Up of Shanghai
Reform and Opening-Up of Shanghai
O ver the past 20 years of reform and opening-up, Shanghai has witnessed great changes. Following the motto of “Keeping an open mind, striving for excellence,” Shanghai aims to become an international economic, trading, finance, and shipping center. The development of Pudong will lead the way forward for the Yangtze River Delta region.
1. Nanjing Road
Nanjing Road is one of the main commercial centers in Shanghai. It is five kilometers long, starting at the Bund in the east and ending in the west at Jing'an Temple. It was once called Shili Yangchang (ten miles of foreign settlements), a place bustling with foreign commercial ventures. Over 100 years ago, Nanjing Road was still a narrow path. In order to enlarge their concessions, colonists forcibly occupied over 80 mu of land with the excuse of building a racecourse. They created a roadside recreation space with gardens inside and the racecourse outside. They also established commercial networks along the road to serve clients. After 1865, the colonists formally named it Nanjing Road while it was still in the process of expansion. Since then, Nanjing Road has continued to expand from east to west, with more shops built.
Shortly after the opening of the commercial port in Shanghai in 1843, Nanjing Road established its position as the cradle of modern commerce in Shanghai. It was called Damalu Boulevard, a prosperous commercial street located where today's Nanjing Road East lies. In the 1930s, Nanjing Road was already widely known both in China and abroad. At that time, Sincere (a garment company), Yong'an (Hua Lian Commercial Building), Xinxin (a food company), and Daxin (Shanghai No. 1 Department Store) were the most modern, large shopping malls in China.
After 1949, the above four companies were restructured and continued to develop. There were also other famous stores and century-old shops along Nanjing Road East such as the Borg Street Fashion Shop, Baromon Western Dress Shop, Wang Kai Photo Gallery, Guanlong Photographic Appliances Shop, Shao Wansheng South Food Shop, Zhang Xiaoquan Scissors Shop, Wu Liangcai Spectacles Store, Duoyun Curios Shop, Hengdali and Hengdeli Watches Store. Along with the reform and opening-up of China, especially after the completion of Nanjing Road East Walking Street, Chinese and foreign businesses flocked to the area due to its commercial prospects. Nanjing Road East became the genuine “No. 1 Street in China” and a must-see attraction for visitors to Shanghai.
Since the 1990s, Nanjing Road West has gradually changed from mainly a residential area to one with shopping malls such as the Westgate Mall, Henglong Square, and CITIC Square.
Future plans will divide Nanjing Road into three sections under the theme of “Nanjing Road—charming forever.” For instance, the Offshore Sensation section, extending from the Bund to Henan Road Central, will be a showcase of romance, elegance, and nostalgia. In the coffee-colored Peace Hotel visitors will enjoy nostalgic jazz music, while fashionable open-air bars and abstract sculptures will also be set up. With this blending of history and modernity, fashionconscious youth and foreign visitors alike can experience the unique glamor of Nanjing Road.
2. Century Avenue
Century Avenue is 100 meters wide and 5.5 kilometers long, beginning at the Oriental Pearl Tower and ending at Pudong
Century Park. It is the only asymmetrical road in the world, with its centerline deviating southward by ten meters. Designed by a French company, Century Avenue presents a magnificent image of cityscape boulevard.
Century Avenue is also the first cityscape boulevard featuring greenbelts and sidewalks wider than traffic lanes. The designer has successfully combined the elements of road traffic, pedestrians, and architecture. To show the landscaping effect, the greenbelts and sidewalks were widened to 69 meters. The avenue's north sidewalk is 44.5 meters wide and planted with four rows of evergreen fragrant camphor trees and ginkgoes, while the south sidewalk is only 24.5 meters wide with two rows of avenue trees. There are eight botanical gardens stretching 180 meters long and 20 meters wide along the north sidewalk. The eight gardens have distinctive features and themes: willow garden, dawn redwood garden, cherry garden, grand myrtle garden, magnolia denudate garden, camellia garden, redbud garden, and golden rain garden.
The design of Century Avenue embodies a “cross-century” concept based on integrity and modern high technology. It is the only street in the world with a time-themed sculpture. Several sculptures grace the avenue, including Light of the East, Century Twilight, and Five Elements (Wuxing). Simple design ideas with exquisite metal tension structures, these sculptures are in harmony with the columns, benches, railings, lampposts, and canopies, which together form the colors and features of this landmark road. Timethemed sculptures and decorative objects, such as Sundial Needle, Century Bell, and Sandglass, are located in different sections.
Century Avenue serves as a landmark of Shanghai toward the 21st century. It will greatly influence the functional and morphological development of Pudong. The avenue is a magnificent construction project with landscaped greenbelts on both sides well integrated with commerce, culture, tourism, and leisure. The land on both sides of Century Avenue presents unlimited opportunities for future development.
3. Lujiazui Economic and Financial Center
Lujiazui Finance and Trade Zone is located in the golden section of Pudong New Area, facing the Bund across the Huangpu River, once the famed financial center of the Far East. Lujiazui is the only development area in China named after finance and trading. More than 50 Chinese and foreign financial institutions are stationed here, 28 of which are foreign-funded banks, including the worldfamous Citibank, Fuji Bank, and Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation. It will be home to around 100 Chinese and foreign banks and financial institutions, 3,000 large international companies, headquarters of major financial consortia, and other types of companies, making it the most prosperous Central Business District in Pudong, as well as in Shanghai.
The world-famous Oriental Pearl Tower stands on the bank of the Huangpu River, where a 2,500-meter Riverside Avenue has been built. This area also boasts a number of cultural and arts buildings such as the Oriental Concert Hall, Museum, Cultural and Arts Center, the Central Library, and the Opera House.
An overall three-dimensional planning has been implemented in the Lujiazui central area that combines modern functions, such as communications, environmental considerations, such as ecology, as well as scenic spots and spatial art. Lujiazui will be built into a golden delta on the east bank of the Huangpu River with a well
coordinated transport system made up of subway, tunnels, elevated roads, and landscaped pedestrian walkways, making the area easily accessible by all modes of transport.
4. The Bund
Located on the west bank of the Huangpu River, the Bund begins at Yan'an Road East and ends at Baidu Bridge. It is a riverside boulevard with eclectic architectural styles presenting one of the most charming urban landscapes in the world. Chinese and Western buildings stand on the west side of the Bund, forming a display of modern world architecture. The Bund, with its distinctive buildings, is an epitome of the modern history of Shanghai.
In the old days, place names in Shanghai used to be based on rivers. Generally, the upstream section was called li, meaning inner side. The downstream section was called as wai, meaning outer side. The Bund was once divided into two parts: Li (Inner) Huangpu Bund and Wai (Outer) Huangpu Bund. In the early 19th century, the Bund was just a mudflat between Xinkai River and Wusong, surrounded by fields and a few farmhouses. Shanghai County is now known as Laochengxiang (the old town of Shanghai). Its city wall, which was 4,500 meters long and eight meters high, stood along presentday Zhonghua Road and Renmin Road. Between 1912 and 1914, the city wall was pulled down, leaving behind just over ten meters of the Dajingge city wall near Xiaobeimen (Small North Gate). In 1845, after a brief negotiation between China and Britain, the Bund was annexed into the British Concession. Afterwards, the British Consulate and foreign firms built up houses along the Huangpu River. It was during this time that the Bund began its development. In the same year, the construction of Huangpu Bund Road was completed. Western immigrants called it “the Bund,” meaning “river shoal,” however, the Chinese called it “Waitan.”
After the Opium War, the British established their concession by first occupying the area west of the Huangpu River, beginning with the Suzhou River and ending at the Yangjingbang (a river in old Shanghai which is now Yan'an Road East). Western-style buildings, including the consulate, were constructed in the concession.
In the late 19th century, the Bund went through enormous changes. Three- or four-story buildings for foreign firms and banks were built along the Huangpu River; narrow paths were widened and wharfs were built up. In the beginning of the 20th century, six- or seven-story buildings of reinforced concrete substituted the brick joisted houses. In the 1930s, buildings higher than ten stories began to rise along the Bund.
There are 23 buildings in the Bund area. Representing unique and luxurious architectural styles, they were built by the Chinese, British, Americans, Russians, Jews, Japanese, and French, turning the Bund into a gallery of world architecture. Different yet harmonious, beautiful yet functional, these buildings delimit the overall outline of the Bund's buildings. Having been recently renovated, these buildings still remain in good condition today.
5. Xintiandi (New World)
Shanghai Xintiandi (New World) is located in the Taiping Bridge area of Luwan District in downtown Shanghai, adjacent to busy Huaihai Road Central and subway station. Covering a land area of 30,000 square meters and a built-up area of 60,000 square meters, Shanghai Xintiandi is the first phase of the rebuilding plan for the Taiping Bridge area. It is an entertainment and shopping hotspot featuring historical and cultural aspects of Shanghai. Xintiandi, with its traditional Shikumen architecture, combines the old and the new by taking Shanghai-styled culture as a keynote and integrating it with Chinese and Western styles. The modern building clusters of Xintiandi combine traditional style and modern functional facilities, providing dining, retail, entertainment, and cultural services for residents and visitors. The area also offers service apartments.
Xintiandi is divided into two parts: Nanli and Beili. Beili is made up of several old Shikumen houses. The juxtaposition of old and new architectural styles in Beili adds to the international atmosphere, together with fine dining choices from France, the United States, Germany, Britain, Brazil, Italy, Japan, China Taiwan, and Hong Kong.
Nanli opened to the public in 2002 as an integrated space of 25,000 square meters for shopping, entertainment, and leisure activities. It houses boutiques, a food square, cinemas, and a largescale one-stop fitness center.
Shikumen architecture is a testimony to the development of Shanghai. However, over time these old buildings fell into disrepair
due to lack of maintenance. In order to show the original flavor of Shikumen, engineers used original blueprints to revitalize the buildings. Today, the alleys, doorframes, lintels, building elevations, and roof terraces appear exactly as the originals. The walls, floors, and roofs have the original old bricks and tiles where possible in order to recreate the authentic look of the old buildings as much as possible.
While maintaining the authenticity of the exteriors, engineers have conducted drastic interior reconstruction. Today, the Shikumen building style is displayed in Xintiandi through blue brick paths, dry brick walls, and dark-painted gates, while inside modern-day conveniences, such as air-conditioners, automatic elevators, and broadband Internet access points, are also available to customers.
Xintiandi is the focal point of fashion, living, culture, dining, entertainment, and shopping in Shanghai. The combination of the new and the old produces infinite business opportunities.
6. People's Square
Before 1949, the current People's Square and People's Park were once a renowned racecourse. In 1861, Hog, a British man and an executive of the Race Club, proposed to the Provincial Governor of Shanghai that some land be required for constructing a racecourse. With the acquiescence of local officials, the British occupied 31 hectares of farmland, forcing over 30,000 farmers to leave their homesteads. The Shanghai Racecourse was called “the No. 1 racecourse in the Far East” for a period of time. During the War of Resistance against Japan (1937–1945), the racecourse was converted into a barrack by the Japanese army. During the Civil War (1945–1949) between the Communists and Nationalists, it became a club for the American army. After 1949, the government took back the racecourse and rebuilt it into People's Park, People's Square, and People's Avenue. The former racecourse building was later rebuilt into a library, while the spectators' stand ended up as a gymnasium.
After the 1980s, in accordance with the requirements of reform and opening-up and the urban development of Shanghai, the rebuilding of People's Square was placed on the agenda. The reconstruction projects included the construction of main buildings, civic supporting facilities, and greenbelts. There are seven main buildings in People's Square. Standing in the centerline of the north side is the Civic Center and the Shanghai Grand Theater (formerly the spectators' stand and later the gymnasium). People's Square Subway Station is on the northeast side of People's Square. Along Renmin Avenue, on the south side, are three large underground structures: an underground shopping mall, the largest metro station in Asia, and the largest underground parking lot. Standing south of the centerline of People's Square is the Shanghai Museum.
Two smaller squares are located on either side of the central square: on the east Xuri Square (Sun Square) and on the west Mingyue Square (Moon Square). The squares cover 13 hectares, of which eight hectares are parkland planted with grass, flowers, evergreen shrubs, and trees, such as camphor, cedar, and white yulan.
The granite sidewalk is 600 meters long and 32 meters wide and was rebuilt to match the style of Renmin Avenue. On both sides of
the avenue are 5.5-meter-wide pedestrianized greenbelt islands with colored footpaths and 6.5-meter-wide cycle lanes. In Wusheng Road, terminal stops for the former eight bus lines were established, which form an arc-like “moon island.” People's Square, with its large-scale greenbelts blending into People's Park, has greatly improved the environment of downtown Shanghai. The rebuilt People's Square acts as the center of Shanghai's politics, culture, commerce, and transportation, becoming a landscape reflecting the new image and style of Shanghai.
7. MagLev Train
A result of Chinese-German cooperation, the world-renowned Shanghai MagLev train line is the first of its kind for commercial purposes in the world.
The MagLev line is 31.17 kilometers long and designed for speeds up to 505 kilometers per hour, with an operating speed
of 430 kilometers per hour. In Shanghai it runs from west to east, beginning at the south side of Longyang Road Station of Shanghai Metro Line 2 and ending at the Terminal Building of Pudong International Airport (first phase). It intersects with Metro Line 2, which crosses the Huangpu River. Three up-to-date EMS high-speed MagLev trains were introduced from Germany with a total investment of RMB 8.9 billion. It takes only seven minutes to travel from Shanghai downtown area to Pudong International Airport. Each MagLev train is equipped with nine carriages, which can carry 959 passengers at a time. There are 12 trains every hour. If the line operates 18 hours a day, the largest annual passenger capacity can reach 150 million.
8. Elevated Road Network, Cross-River Bridges and Tunnels
Currently, there are over 80 kilometers of elevated roads in Shanghai. Five highway bridges, five tunnels, and two railway bridges have been built over or under the Huangpu River. The elevated road network and the cross-river bridges and tunnels combine to create a fully functional artery diverting, collecting, and distributing traffic network.
8.1 Elevated Road Network
The elevated road network takes the shape of Chinese character (shen). The network is made up of the Elevated Inner Ring Road, North-South Elevated Road, and Yan'an Elevated Road. The Elevated Inner Ring Road is 48 kilometers long, connecting Puxi and Pudong through Nanpu Bridge and Yangpu Bridge, and leading to Zhongshan Ring Road. The Puxi section of the Elevated Inner Ring Road is 29.2 kilometers long. The Pudong section consists mainly of ground roads with a length of eight kilometers. The North-South Elevated Road has six lanes, running from north to south for 8.45 kilometers through the Shanghai downtown areas of Zhabei, Jing'an, Huangpu, and Luwan. Yan'an Elevated Road begins with East Zhongshan Road One in the east and ends at Hongqiao Airport in the west for a total length of 14.8 kilometers. Yan'an Elevated Road, North-South Elevated Road, and the Elevated Inner Ring Road intersect to form a three-dimensional traffic shield of the downtown area of Shanghai.
8.2 Nanpu Bridge
Nanpu Bridge is 8,346 meters long with a navigation clearance height of 46 meters, allowing 55,000-ton ships to pass through. The main bridge consists of a two-tower, double-plane, cable-stayed structure with composite 846-meters-long girders. It is designed with six driveways with an overall bridge-deck width of 30.35 meters. The overall length of the approach span is 7,500 meters, of which the Puxi circling approach span is 3,754 meters long. With a total investment of RMB 820 million, the bridge came into operation on December 1, 1991.
8.3 Yangpu Bridge
Yangpu Bridge is another bridge across the Huangpu River. It is also a two-tower, double-plane, cable-stayed bridge with composite girders designed and built by China. The bridge is 7,658 meters long with a main span of 602 meters. The main bridge is 1,172 meters long, which is 72 meters longer than Norway's Svinesund Bridge. As the number one cable-stayed bridge in the world, Yangpu Bridge is like a rainbow over the Huangpu River. The 208-meter king tower has 32 cables that join the main girders and open out like a fan.
8.4 Lupu Bridge
Beginning in Puxi Luban Road in the north and ending at Pudong Jiyang Road in the south, Lupu Bridge crosses the Huangpu River with a total length of 8.7 kilometers. The main bridge is an all-steel structure, 750 meters long with six road lanes. The approach bridge is designed with six lanes and four lanes. The navigation clearance and navigation width are 46 meters and 340 meters respectively. With a total investment of over RMB 2 billion, it was put into operation in 2003.
8.5 Cross-River Tunnel in Dalian Road
The Dalian Road Tunnel borders Dalian Road, Puxi in the north, and Dongfang Road, Pudong in the south, and is adjacent to the Phase II project of the Metro Mingzhu (Bright Pearl) Line. It comprises a circular tunnel section, embedded section, approach passages, and ground-connecting section. It is a dual four-lane highway. Each lane is 3.75 meters wide with a clearance height of 4.5 meters designed for vehicle speeds of up to 40 kilometers per hour. The underwater tunnel is a two-tube shield structure. The east line of the project is 2,566 meters long, and the west line is 2,550 meters long. With a total investment of RMB 1.56 billion, the project went into operation in 2003.
8.6 Cross-River Tunnel in Fuxing Road East
Starting from the junction of Fuxing Road East and Guangqi Road in Puxi, the tunnel extends east along Fuxing Road East, crosses the Huangpu River and ends at Zhangyang Road and Eshan Road East in Pudong. The tunnel is a dual double-deck six-lane tunnel. The upper deck is fitted with two small lanes, each three meters wide, for vehicles less than 2.4 meters high. The lower deck is fitted with a wide lane of 3.5 meters and a lay-by 2.5 meters wide. The height limit is 3.8 meters with vehicle speeds of up to 40 kilometers per hour. It is 2,785 meters long and was put into operation in 2004.