Shang­hai show­cases vi­sion of the fu­ture

China Daily European Weekly - - COMMENT - By CAO CHEN 2035, Shang­hai

A new ex­hi­bi­tion, ti­tled

is be­ing held at the Shang­hai Ur­ban Plan­ning Ex­hi­bi­tion Cen­ter, of­fer­ing vis­i­tors a glimpse into the city’s growth over the past cen­tury and its de­vel­op­ment plans for com­ing years.

Ac­cord­ing to Weng Wen­bin, chief en­gi­neer at the Shang­hai Ur­ban Plan­ning Ex­hi­bi­tion Cen­ter, the ex­hi­bi­tion presents the de­tails of the pre­vi­ous five Shang­hai mas­ter plans in in­ter­est­ing ways, such as through mul­ti­me­dia de­vices, quizzes and in­ter­ac­tive games.

“Through this ex­hi­bi­tion, the au­di­ence can get a com­pre­hen­sive view of the nearly cen­tu­ry­long de­vel­op­ment process in Shang­hai. It will also al­low them to bet­ter un­der­stand the new mas­ter plan (2017-35) and what it en­tails,” he says.

Ac­cord­ing to the cen­ter, the ex­hi­bi­tion has been well-re­ceived so far.

Some vis­i­tors, such as Shang­hai res­i­dent Wang Xudong, have even been more than once. To her, Shang­hai 2035 al­lows her to re­con­nect with some of the mem­o­ries she has of grow­ing up in the city.

Born in Shang­hai, Wang re­lo­cated to Wuhan, Hubei prov­ince, with her par­ents when she was a child. She re­turned to the city in 1982.

Dur­ing the 1990s, she lived in a farm­land area of Shang­hai called Rushan New Vil­lage. To­day, that area is part of the city’s Lu­ji­azui in the Pudong New Area.

“Back then, I didn’t find any dif­fer­ence be­tween Shang­hai and the vil­lage in Wuhan where I lived. Things are com­pletely dif­fer­ent now. Shang­hai is an out­stand­ing me­trop­o­lis, not just in China but the world,” says the 54-year-old. “I feel even prouder to be a Shang­hainese now af­ter learn­ing of the city’s mas­ter plan for the next 20 years.”

In the past, most res­i­dents pre­ferred to buy apart­ments around the cen­tral Huangpu dis­trict, says Wang. These days, how­ever, most parts of the city are suit­able for liv­ing, thanks to sub­way sta­tions and qual­ity hous­ing.

“One does not need to worry about the level of con­ve­nience in the neigh­bor­hoods these days. Even if the re­gion is far from the city cen­ter, it is still likely to be fully equipped with en­ter­tain­ment, med­i­cal and ed­u­ca­tion ameni­ties. City plans and re­forms are re­spon­si­ble for driv­ing these de­vel­op­ments,” she says.

Com­piled af­ter the city was turned into a spe­cial mu­nic­i­pal­ity by the newly es­tab­lished Nan­jing na­tional gov­ern­ment of the Re­pub­lic of China, the first city plan for Shang­hai was un­veiled in 1929.

Though it was not fully car­ried out due to the War of Re­sis­tance Against Ja­panese Ag­gres­sion (1931-45), the spa­tial pat­tern and struc­ture was al­ready in place and had a pro­found in­flu­ence on the de­vel­op­ment of north­east­ern Shang­hai.

The Greater Shang­hai Ur­ban Plan, which was cre­ated in 1950, was the first mas­ter plan to in­clude some re­gions in Jiangsu and Zhe­jiang prov­inces as part of Shang­hai.

This plan also helped to de­cen­tral­ize the ma­jor­ity of the pop­u­la­tion gath­ered in down­town Shang­hai.

In 1958, the Preliminary Opin­ions on Shang­hai Mas­ter Ur­ban Plan pro­moted the process of ur­ban con­struc­tion and the ren­o­va­tion of the down­town ar­eas.

The Shang­hai Ur­ban Mas­ter Plan in 1986 was the first to gain ap­proval at na­tional level, and this in turn laid the foun­da­tion for the city to play a lead­ing role in China’s growth. It was also dur­ing this time that na­tional eco­nomic and tech­no­log­i­cal zones, such as the Hongqiao Eco­nomic and Tech­no­log­i­cal De­vel­op­ment Zone, were es­tab­lished.

In 2001, the Shang­hai Ur­ban Mas­ter Plan (1999-2020) pro­moted the de­vel­op­ment of the Pudong New Area and the con­struc­tion of new towns. The Hongqiao Trans­porta­tion Hub was built in this pe­riod.

Jean Bap­tiste Papin, a French­man who has lived in Shang­hai for the past three years, was an­other vis­i­tor to the ex­hi­bi­tion and was en­thralled by the pace of the city’s progress. He sin­gled out the abil­ity to use QR codes to pay for sub­way rides in the city as an im­pres­sive de­vel­op­ment.

“I’m amazed at Shang­hai’s abil­ity to adopt new things within a re­ally short pe­riod of time. This is why I like liv­ing here,” he says.

The Shang­hai 2035 ex­hi­bi­tion of­fers vis­i­tors a glimpse into the city’s growth over the past cen­tury and its de­vel­op­ment plans for the fu­ture.

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