Ideas sought to utilize road space

Shanghai's downtown area has about 300 kilometers of elevated bridges for highways and Metro lines, while many of their beneath areas remain undeveloped.

SHANGHAI is inviting global designers to come up with ideas and make use of the space beneath the elevated roads and subways.

The downtown area in the city has about 300 kilometers of elevated roads, the Shanghai Planning, Land and Resources Administration said.

Some of the open spaces under the elevated roads have been converted into parking lots, equipment rooms or greenery areas, but many more areas are being wasted, the administration said.

Few of the spaces are dirty with vagrants known to spend nights there.

“It is essential to revitalize the space and create vital and quality public area for the city,” the administration said in a statement released over the weekend.

It is part of the planning body’s “micro-revamping” campaign that was launched in 2016 — doing subtle, low-key renovations instead of demolishing and rebuilding old communities and other urban space.

For starters, the planner is soliciting ideas for the area below the Yan’an Road Elevated Highway in Hongqiao, the space beneath Metro lines 3 and 4 near Zhongshan Park, and the areas beneath the four bridges over the Suzhou Creek.

The 5-meter-tall area beneath the 500m-long section of the Yan’an Road Highway, for instance, now serves as the entrance to a park named New Hongqiao Central Garden and has some parking slots. The area along the busy Yan’an Road W. attracts few people.

Designers have to create interesting public facilities to attract and better serve residents nearby, while improving the environment, the administration said.

They can suggest bold and innovative ideas but must not affect the traffic or influence the structure of the elevated bridges. An expert panel will evaluate and modify the designs before carrying out the winning designs, the administration said.

The best design will be awarded 90,000 yuan (US$14,221), while three others will walk away with 10,000 yuan.

They can send their ideas and designs through e-mail before April 7 midnight.

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