Mural on former steel plant to mark district's transformation into smart city

Yang Jian
Global artists will create a mural on the wall of Shanghai's oldest iron and steel mill, signaling the beginning of a transformation of this heritage site into a smart city.
Yang Jian
Mural on former steel plant to mark district's transformation into smart city
Ti Gong

The No. 1 Shanghai Steel Factory will be converted into the new Wusong campus of Shanghai University's Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts.

Global artists will collaborate on a painting of Shanghai's oldest iron and steel mill in Baoshan to mark its transformation into a smart city.

The Baoshan government initiated the campaign for the former No. 1 Shanghai Steel Factory to be reestablished as the Wusong campus of the Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts of Shanghai University.

The painting project will use the future campus's 2.5-kilometer-long wall as an art canvas.

According to the Baoshan administration, the project's goal is to highlight many aspects of the city, community, nature, daily life, and future growth.

"We look forward to the birth of this enormous public art piece and anticipate the splendid transformation of the campus," said Shanghai University President Liu Changsheng.

The famed Baosteel Group, as well as more than 300 smaller metal refineries and chemical engineering factories dating back to the 1930s, were located in the Wusong area, known as the cradle of China's modern industry.

Due to pollution controls, the majority of the factories have closed or been relocated.

The 26-square-kilometer land is currently being developed into a smart city, a subcenter with new materials and hardware industries, scientific and cultural innovation parks, commercial and business facilities, residential neighborhoods, and waterfront attractions.

Mural on former steel plant to mark district's transformation into smart city
Ti Gong

Officials and artists were invited to the steel factory building on Friday.

According to Gao Yiyi, the director of Baoshan, the district will become a global example of industrial transformation in the new era.

The proposed site will house an educational facility as well as a research institute focused on the new Shanghai-style culture. When completed in 2026, it will concentrate on art education and attract international artists.

Other significant renovation projects include the facelift of former stainless steel and special steel mills, which will house the city's first carbon-neutral business park.

In early 2023, 36 industrial projects totaling more than 16 billion yuan (US$2.2 billion) were inked in Baoshan, spanning developing industries such as robots and intelligent manufacturing, next-generation information technology, biomedicine, and advanced materials. According to the district government, the majority of these projects will be based in Wusong in the future.

The smart city's core will be a park, as well as a business center in the Yanghang area and a cultural center on the Yangtze River's waterfront.

The Baoshan High-speed Railway Station, which will take up 500,000 square meters, is scheduled to be finished in 2027.

The extension of Metro Lines 18 and 19, which will run beneath the future smart city, is also under construction.

Mural on former steel plant to mark district's transformation into smart city
Ti Gong

A model of the future campus of the art academy.

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