Shanghai showcases vision of the future
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.