Dead steel plant to get new life as culture hub

The former stainless steel plant of the Baosteel Group in Baoshan District has been planned into a "stainless steel industrial scenery neighborhood."

The city’s 80-year-old iron-steel center in the north will be preserved and developed into a scenic historical conservation zone and innovative art parks.

The Baosteel Group’s former stainless steel plant in Baoshan District will be transformed into a “stainless steel scenic industrial neighborhood” that showcases the heritage of the traditional steel-making process, the district said yesterday.

It is part of the district’s contribution to the city government’s campaign to promote Shanghai’s four brands: manufacturing, services, shopping and culture.

“The preservation of our historic industrial heritage is part of the efforts to highlight the ‘Shanghai culture’,” a district official said.

“The steelmaking site is well-preserved and can showcase the development of the city’s heavy industry in the last century,” said Wang Yichuan, director of the Baoshan culture bureau.

The Baosteel plants along the Yangtze River were established in 1938.

Production ended last year as the operation relocated in line with the city’s industrial and environmental blueprint.

Over 400 buildings of the former steel plant have been preserved. The workshops, furnaces and gas units will be converted into art galleries, concerts halls, hotels, offices and recreation facilities.

As part of the plan, the Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts of Shanghai University will move into the site around 2020. An “international art city” is planned to attract cultural, art and creative design institutions from around the world.

“We hope to create an art community at the industrial site to gather global artists, consumers and business people,” said Wang Dawei, executive director with the academy.

The academy will also hold training courses on art and creativity on the site.

Baoshan also plans a riverside commercial complex covering 250,000 square meters, and duty-free stores around the Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal to showcase the city’s “shopping” brand.

It will comprise sightseeing offices, a shopping center themed on aerial and marine explorations and a five-star business and leisure hotel.

A group of industrial parks, such as those in the Nanda area as well as Wusong and Baoshan industrial zones, will focus on artificial intelligence, robotics, new materials and other high-tech industrial sectors to push the city’s “manufacturing” brand.

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