Jing'an Moments(January 2018)
Beautifying the banks
Jiangchang River, cleaned in 2014, is now undergoing beautification on its banks.
In the past four months, walking pathways were built and riverside platforms added.
Water plants like the purple Siberian iris, green rough horsetail and colorful iris were planted to thrive in the river. Dozens of plants cover the riverbanks, including cassia trees, starry-like gypsophila and white camellias.
Last year, the government removed illegal structures along the riverfront of the whole district. A greenbelt is being built along the Dongjiaojing River. It contains underground equipment designed to store and purify rainwater. Above ground, the parkland has become a popular site with local residents.
Museum first in Shanghai
Family treasures and collections are on show at the city’s first “lilong,” or neighborhood lane, museum, which opened in January in Jing’an.
Xiwang Garden Lane Museum is tucked away in the century-old Xiwang residential compound on Fengxian Road.
Xiwang is a typical old-style Shanghai lane neighborhood, where Chinese and Western influences co-mingle. It houses 12 Queen Anne-style buildings located on interconnecting lanes.
The history is related on information boards and in old photos in the museum. Residents loaned some of the family treasures to the museum, including Qing Dynasty waist drums and toys from the 1930s.
Landmark buildings listed
Three historical buildings in Jing’an were added to the city’s listing of 20th century Chinese architectural heritage in January.
They are the Sihang Warehouse Battle Memorial, the Paramount ballroom and the Moller Villa.
The battle memorial along Suzhou Creek was originally built as a storage facility for banks, but Japanese invaders requisitioned it as their military headquarters during their occupation of Shanghai in World War II. Numerous bullet holes in the façade of the building were retained during renovation.
The Scandinavian-style Moller Villa, completed in 1936, harks to a castle out of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales. Featuring multicolored tiled Gothic and Tudor steeples, gables and spires, it was a gift from British businessman Eric Moller to his daughter.
The legendary Paramount ballroom is famous as the site where Charlie Chaplin once danced, “golden voice” Zhou Xuan once crooned and movie queen Hu Die famously got engaged.
Anything can happen on the streets. It can suddenly start to rain when you have left home without an umbrella. A food delivery man may discover his mobile phone battery is dead.
The Linfen Road Community has come to the rescue. Its commercial commission built a public services pavilion at the intersection of Linfen and Pingshun roads, providing free services from rentals to charging gadgets and drinking water.
It also helps disabled people to sell handicrafts they make.
New “big data” blood
An Amazon Web Services’ subsidiary announced in January that it will build the Shanghai-Amazon AWS United Innovation Center in Jing’an’s Shibei High Technology Park, which hosts Shanghai’s big data center and is a centerpiece of the “smart city” project.
Officials said the site will include an exhibition center and facilities to foster professional development in big data and international incubators.