Shanghai should be ‘vanguard city’: study
Shanghai needs to leave people with extraordinary memories as it prepares to become a global center city.
And Shanghai should construct its image as a “vanguard city”, said researchers in Shanghai’s global influence and image program at Shanghai Normal University (SNU). images improve their marketability and attractiveness.
Shanghai was famous as “a paradise for adventurers” before. Some young people compare the city to a “magic capital”, in contrast with Beijing as “empire capital”. Many Shanghai citizens do not like the uncertain image associated with the name. Some people call Shanghai an “oriental pearl”. But that name refers to Hong Kong in more cases.
Shanghai has been a city for 800 years. It became an international city as recently as 170 years ago. Since then, Shanghai has been one of the most important cities in the Far East. But Shanghai does not have a concrete city symbol or image to display its uniqueness.
“Our research suggests Shanghai’s city image should be defined as ‘vanguard city’,” said Gao Jun, professor of tourism studies and the other lead researcher for SNU’s program. “Shanghai should have the courage to be a leader of trend and innovation — the first to try new things, and a leading global center city.”
Shanghai has actually been a vanguard city in history. It was the place where Chinese farmers invented advanced cotton planting techniques, later a national textile center, and a manufacturing, financial and transportation hub in the Asia-Pacific region.
Shanghai is the cradle of the Communist Party of China, and an important experimental field for China’s reform and opening-up since Deng Xiaoping’s era in the 1970s. The Pudong new district and the Shanghai Free Trade Zone are both symbols of Shanghai’s openness and pioneering spirit in pressing ahead with China’s reforms.
President Xi Jinping stressed during his visit to the city in May that Shanghai must serve as a bellwether and explorer for China’s reform and development.
As a “vanguard city”, Shanghai has an important role to play in the Silk Road Economic Belt, the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road and the Yangtze River Economic Belt projects, three important projects proposed by Xi’s government to promote global trade and cooperation and regional integration in China, Gao pointed out.
“To be a vanguard city is not only China’s requirement for Shanghai, but also Shanghai’s responsibility to the country,” Gao said.
As a migrant city, Shanghai is inclusive to pluralistic cultures, wisdom and innovation. The fast-developing innovation industries, advanced service sectors, along with the close convergence of education, research and industries in Shanghai underlie the city’s potential to be a vanguard city, the research report concluded.
Migrant workers build a roof in the Pudong new district of Shanghai, which should pursue a new image as a “vanguard city”, according to a university panel.