Huangpu River is to become one of the world’s most magnificent riverside areas – on one level with the Left Bank in Paris and London’s Thames walkways – that’s when the city’s ideas and plans come to fruition.
Uninterrupted pedestrian paths will be created alongside Huangpu River by the end of 2017, Shanghai’s city planning announced.
New parks, art galleries and refurbished or preserved historic buildings will also be part of the riverbank’s upgrading.
People will be able to walk from the Bund through the North Bund in Hongkou and Xuhui riverside in Puxi, or from the former Expo site to Lujiazui and Qiantan in Pudong by the end of next year – a total of 45 kilometers of path will be developed it was said.
As well as making Huangpu River banks one of the world’s top riverside areas, the city’s aim is to ensure local citizens to enjoy the riverbanks, said Xu Yisong, deputy director of the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center. The riverbanks plan is part of the city’s blueprint to develop Shanghai into an “excellent global city” by 2040.
The banks of Huangpu River, dubbed the city’s “mother river,” once served as the major shipping and transportation hub for warehouses, wharves and factories. Now the riverbanks are to become an eco-friendly public space and a landmark for recreation, sightseeing, tourism and historic protection.
The riverside area covered by the plan involves about 5 square kilometers in Puxi’s Yangpu, Hongkou, Xuhui, Huangpu districts and Pudong New Area. Some 30 percent of the sections have been completed, such as the Bund and Lujiazui financial center.
A key target is to build a continuous green “slow walk” system along the riverbanks, said Zhang Fan, director with the detailed planning department with the administration.
The system includes pedestrian and cycle paths, along with bridges and elevated roads over the river to allow people to walk along the riverbanks and avoid the ferry ports and urban facilities, Zhang said. Some of the remaining factories and company buildings along the riverbanks are to be demolished and tram lines will be built to connect riverbanks to Metro stations.
A cluster of small parks, covering 1,000 to 3,000 square meters, are also planned for the riverbanks. Some sculptures and public artworks.
Landmark lighthouses and towers will be built along the riverbanks to add to the ambience, according to the plan.
The former Puxi Expo site, for instance, will have 56 lamps along the riverbank to commemorate World Expo 2010 Shanghai. Some 20 lighthouses will be built along the bank in Pudong. They will both illuminate the path and offer services, such as cafes or a visitor center, the administration said.
Many industrial relics such as warehouses, factory buildings and ports will be preserved as a reminder of China’s past industrial era.