'Science City' to take Shanghai far into the future

Shanghai plans to build a "science city" as an expansion to the Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park in Pudong in part of a mission to promote the city as a world-class innovation center.

Covering 94 square kilometers in southeastern Shanghai, Zhangjiang Science City aims to be par with the US Silicon Valley, Singapore’s One North Science Park and Japan’s Tsukuba scientific town.


Shanghai plans to build a “science city” as an expansion to the Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park in Pudong in part of a mission to promote the city as a world-class innovation center.

The Zhangjiang Science City covering 94 square kilometers in southeast Shanghai will foster knowledge, technology and new industries. It aims to be par with the US Silicon Valley, Singapore’s One North Science Park and Japan’s Tsukuba scientific town, the city government announced.

The government has released the construction plan for the science city to solicit public opinion. The project will prioritize major national scientific and technological facilities, and offer a diverse range of business incubators for startups, according to the master plan.

Shanghai Mayor Ying Yong has said the city will prioritize developing the Zhangjiang Comprehensive National Science Center on the back of photon science and technology, life sciences, energy technology, artificial intelligence and other technological developments.

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According to the blueprint, a batch of national-level laboratories and scientific projects will be located along the Chuanyang River, an artificial branch of the Huangpu River.

Construction of key national-level scientific projects has been accelerated and new policies are also expected to attract talent with an understanding of international trends in science and technology.

The Tsung-Dao Lee Research Center, for instance, will focus on particle physics and astrophysics as well as quantum science and technology, the Shanghai Science and Technology Commission said. 

The center is named after the Shanghai-born scientist who won the Nobel Prize for physics in 1957. “The new center aims to enhance China’s influence in fundamental physics,” a commission official said.

And construction will start this year on the second phase of the Shanghai Synchrotron Radiation Facility. The facility uses state-of-the-art “synchrotron radiation” technology to create super beams that are hundreds of millions of times brighter than a normal X-ray.

In addition to the first phase of the Synchrotron Radiation Facility, another major research lab already based in Zhangjiang is the National Protein Science Center.

A series of research centers operated by leading local universities will also be set up in Zhangjiang.

They include a University of Science and Technology of China innovation center focusing on quantum information science and technology, a stem cell research center associated with Tongji University, and a robot research center associated with the ShanghaiTech University.

The science city will also include an international medical zone along with various public services. Subway lines will run through the science city, while office buildings, renovated factory houses and innovation parks for startups will be spotted across the science city. More expressways connecting the science city to Shanghai’s railway stations, airports and downtown areas will also be built.

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The science city will be surrounded by a forest belt. It aims to become a green and livable place instead of only focusing on science industry, the Pudong government said.

Landscaping projects and parks will increase the proportion of public green areas along with cultural and entertainment facilities.

A series of innovative policies have been planned for the Zhangjiang area to attract foreign professionals.

Foreign professionals recommended by the universities, research centers and enterprises based in Zhangjiang can enjoy simplified processing when apply for visas, work certificates and permanent residence permits. 

A “one-stop service station” will be built in the area to serve foreign talents. Pudong is also establishing an awards system to reward excellence from foreign professionals.

The science city aims to attract 500 renowned scientists and experts by the end of 2020. Over 20,000 professionals from abroad and overseas graduates will work in Zhangjiang by then.

For the convenience of the foreign professionals and their families, new international schools will be built in the area. The Pudong government will also launch a trial to open international classes at local public schools.

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