Changning puts focus on film and fashion

Wan Tingting
Major renovations will be done to the Shanghai Film Art Center, the city's first five-star cinema built in 1991, to promote the film industry in Changning District.
Wan Tingting
Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

Visitors walk through the Xing Fu Li creative park at 381 Panyu Rd. yesterday. The renovated factory complex is now home to fashion stores, restaurants and design studios. 

Major renovations will be done to the Shanghai Film Art Center, the city’s first five-star cinema built in 1991, to promote the film industry in Changning District.

Work will start this year to develop the area around Xinhua and Panyu roads into a “film complex,” featuring Shanghai’s unique culture, according to the Changning government.

The project is part of a series of revamping plans unveiled by the government to turn the downtown district into a “center and origin” of global fashion and innovation industries.

Renovation of the film center will be done along with redevelopment on a number of neighboring innovative parks. They include Xing Fu Li, or Happiness Lane, a creative park developed from a former rubber factory, as well as warehouse-turned-design-zones Hub 727 and Fahua 525.

The Xing Fu Li park named after a nearby old neighborhood at 381 Panyu Rd. was renovated from the factory house in 2015. It is now home to various fashion stores, restaurants and designing studios.

Residents living in the nearby neighborhood once had to detour to cross the former industrial site, but now can enjoy a relaxing and pleasant landmark, said Tina Lin, 33, a white-collar woman who was raised in the Xing Fu Li neighborhood.

“It is now common to see colorful swinging lounge areas where people can relax with a cocktail now,” Lin said.

The creative park has also attracted many foreign models to take photos amidst its former industrial and artistic ambiance.

Natalia Makarova, 18, a Russia model working in Shanghai said she was impressed with the fashion scene.

Her agent, Laurel Lai, said most of the merchants in the creative park are working in cross-border e-commerce, and often require foreign models.

According to its future blueprint, part of the areas in the creative park will be developed into workshops for independent producers, postproduction, and film investment.

Not far from the future film hub, a planned public bazaar will combine traditional Shanghai “lane lifestyle” with modern fashion culture.

The Yuyuan Road Public Bazaar is being developed within the former teaching building of the Shanghai Workers College of Medical Science, mainly to serve nearby residents and white-collars.

It is scheduled to open by the end of August, the Changning government said. Visitors to the bazaar can enjoy traditional Shanghai breakfast items such as youtiao (fried bread stick), dabing (flatbread) and soybean milk, as well as traditional services such as key duplication and umbrella repair.

Furthermore, the district government has also pledged to renovate its old residential communities and historical streets to benefit residents, according to Wang Weiren, the Party secretary of Changning. In an interview with the city’s radio station on Tuesday, Wang said the government plans to improve living conditions in an area covering 1.1 million square meters.

The environment and ambiance of Xinhua, Yuyuan, Wuyi and Panyu roads will be further improved, Wang said. Meanwhile, 13 elevators are being installed in old residential buildings in Changning while another 11 have been approved for installation, according to the government.

A number of new parks and greenbelts will also be completed by year-end to improve the natural environment of Changning.

The Linkong No. 1 Park, for instance, will include a music theme park with a stage and an 8,000-square-meter lawn for concerts. The Suzhou Creek Greenbelt will have riverside areas for skateboarding and other sports, while the Outer Ring Road Greenbelt will feature underground swimming pools and sports venues, according to the government.

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