Shanghai sets directives for sectors

The services sector is an integral engine in Shanghai's economy. The Metro system and heritage preservation are just two areas where development is making big strides. 

Shanghai has released detailed guidelines on how the city plans to turn itself into a world leader in services, manufacturing, shopping, culture and science.

The services goal in the program calls for the industry to contribute 70 percent of the city’s annual gross domestic product by 2020.

Shanghai has laid out ambitious plans to become a global hub of innovation in finance, trade, shipping, economics and science, according to the city’s Party Secretary Li Qiang.

Creating top-flight services requires intelligent planning, he said, and the seizing of every opportunity to achieve breakthroughs.

From the world’s longest Metro system to world’s second-tallest building, Shanghai has already demonstrated its ability to excel.

Services cover a wide array of urban activities, including transport and heritage preservation.

In the realm of transport, Shanghai Shentong Metro Group has risen to the challenge of providing rapid-transit services to a city of 24 million people. From 2015 to 2017, the group ordered more than 1,200 trains.

The city’s Metro system was the first in China to provide free Wi-Fi in stations and trains, making it convenient for commuters.

“To provide better service is an intricate task,” said Ye Xufeng from Shentong’s property developing department. “We have been trying to make the Metro more than just a means of transport, but rather a lifestyle service that integrates shopping malls and traffic hubs.”

The Mixc Shopping Center in Minhang District is one example.

The complex was built above the rail yard of Metro Line 10 at the junction of Ziteng and Wuzhong roads. As a “transit-oriented development project,” Mixc solved noise and light pollution problems typically associated with traditional rail yards.

“It provides passengers and nearby residents with more shopping and dining choices to enrich their leisure lives,” Ye said.

The 632-meter-tall Shanghai Tower looms over the city’s skyline. It is a monument to the expertise of the Shanghai Construction Group, which built it.

The company, which has said it is deeply committed to the city’s development, has also taken part in 60 percent of the renovation work on historical buildings in Shanghai, including most of the landmarks alongside the Bund.

The aim of such heritage preservation is renovation without losing the original look of a building, a concept that is much harder than it sounds to accomplish.

When the company first started work on the face-lift of the Sihang Warehouse in Jing’an District — where Chinese soldiers bravely fought Japanese invaders — engineers and craftsmen struggled to restore the battle scene on the facade of the building.

Workers referred to old documents for reference and carved bullet holes, one by one, according to archived photos.

“Shanghai has a unique complex of historical buildings,” said Bian Jiajun, chief executive officer of Shanghai Construction. “We have the obligation to keep and cherish this heritage for the city.”

The company has joined hands with the Shentong Group to lengthen the Metro system to 800 kilometers by 2020. The partnership is aimed at completing the work as quickly and efficiently as possible, with the least damage to the environment.

Shentong is applying its own digital technology to the construction of a Metro dispatch management center to create a “smart” building. Engineers can access the construction progress through a web page or WeChat.

“We are always aware of the need to explore every possibility to serve the city better,” said Gong Jian, chief engineer of Shanghai Construction. “We will promote the technologies we develop for nationwide use.”

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