Dream project for former industrial satellite city

Huang Yongdi Yang Yang
Laominhang, with a history going back seven decades, is being redeveloped into a modern and vibrant riverfront urban area to follow on from its pioneering past in heavy industry.
Huang Yongdi Yang Yang
Dream project for former industrial satellite city
Ti Gong

The Grand NeoBay Sci-tech Innovation Zone has infused fresh momentum into the Laominhang area's development.

Laominhang, literally meaning "old Minhang," is a satellite city of Shanghai with a history going back seven decades. It roughly covers the region that is the now Jiangchuan Road subdistrict of Minhang District. It is being redeveloped as a modern and vibrant riverfront urban area with its backbone urban landscape of the new Metro Line 23, Minhang's Huangpu River section and waterways and roads of its Grand NeoBay Sci-tech Innovation Zone.

Among the first batch of industrial satellite cities in China built in the 1950s, the Laominhang area saw countless industrial and urban innovations in its pioneering heavy industry years.

Yet as time passed, its urban landscape as well as its functions lagged behind.

A silver lining behind the cloud: the Jiangchuan Road Subdistrict is taking full advantage of its Grand NeoBay regional development strategy, and quickly morphing into a modern riverfront urban area.

Cui Hongsheng, 74, lives in its Gaohua residential area and has been a Laominhang resident since his teenage years.

The 60-year-old Lanping Wet Market near his home was renovated recently.

"In its first reopening day, I visited the wet market joyfully as many residents of Laominhang did. I shopped for a fish and did a lucky draw. When I was out, I took photos of the renewed market from different angles," said Cui.

He has photos of the Lanping Wet Market in its different stages and after the visit published a story online about the market, an article which struck a chord with many fellow residents.

Cui joined the Shanghai Turbine Factory in 1968 and retired in 2010. He was among hundreds of thousands of factory workers who resettled in Laominhang in the 1950s and 1960s.

Row after row of workers' residential buildings were characteristic of that era, including the Hongqi (Red Flag Limousine Factory), Qilun (Shanghai Turbine Factory) and Dianji (Shanghai Electorical Machine Factory) neighborhoods.

Among the residential complexes, there were 244 non-private apartment buildings with a total floor area over 400,000 square meters. The residents had shared kitchens and bathrooms.

In 2005, the Jiangchuan Road subdistrict began renovating the non-private apartments to improve housing conditions.

The subdistrict's 10 neighborhoods, including the Gaohua residential area, also took part in a neighborhood renewal project that helped with housing renovation, public area risk prevention, improved parking, environment upgrading, senior care facility installation, lifts installation and relocation of outdoor antennas.

"We'll systemically carry out our urban renewal project in Jiangchuan Road subdistrict," said Lin Yi, an official with the subdistrict's community committee.

The subdistrict will take advantage of its Metro Line 23 as well as its Metro Line 5 and push realty development and land use under the guidance of transit-oriented development.

About a million square meters of business zones will be formed from former commercial buildings and low-efficient factory buildings.

A former bearing factory will be vacated for the construction of a talent apartment building, headquarters office building, high-end hotel and high-quality commercial complex.

The region's 6.3-kilometer riverfront will cater to cultural, entertainment and leisure needs for residents in Grand NeoBay, and include culture venues such as the Qiao Zhen Language Museum and South Bund Park.

An essential waterway and Jiangchuan Road, nicknamed Laominhang's No. 1 road, will be linked with residential areas, schools, parks and greenery, office buildings and various commercial venues.

"We'll govern the region with joint efforts and build it toward a dream homeland of our residents," Lin said.

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