Plans for future Expo Culture Park include equestrian area, tram line

The future Expo Culture Park at the former World Expo 2010 site in the Pudong New Area will include an equestrian park and a tram line, the city's urban planning authority said.

The future Expo Culture Park at the former World Expo 2010 site in the Pudong New Area will include an equestrian park and a tram line, the city’s urban planning authority said.

Covering 1.88 square kilometers along the Huangpu River, the park will highlight ecology as well as culture and innovation, according to the Shanghai Planning, Land and Resources Administration.

The administration has displayed park plans on its official website as it solicits public comment. People can e-mail suggestions via xiangguichu@163.com through August 17.

“The park is part of the city government’s efforts to optimize its ecological system, improve life quality, continue the Expo heritage and become an ‘excellent global city,’” the administration said.

According to the latest blueprint, a block of land in the Houtan area of the future culture park will be turned into an equestrian park.

Shanghai has hosted the five-star show-jumping equestrian event, the Shanghai Longines Global Champions Tour, for the last five years, and the event will be held in the city until at least 2022.

The organizer of the event says a permanent equestrian venue in Pudong will hopefully make the tour into a long-term sporting attraction for the city, much like the Shanghai Rolex Masters and F1 races.

The three-day event has previously been held at a makeshift venue in front of the China Art Museum. Some 60 world-class riders and their horses took part in the event this year.

Another newly announced project for the Expo Culture Park is a tram line along Shibo Avenue, once the main east-west thoroughfare of the Expo 2010 site. Several retained Expo structures, such as the Mercedes-Benz Arena, Expo Center and Expo Axis, are located on this avenue.

The authority has also planned a connected underground space to link the park and other cultural facilities with Metro stations. About 2,400 parking spaces are on the drawing board as well.

The Expo Culture Park, which is envisioned as “an ecological natural forest park incorporating new cultural landmarks,” will also include an opera house and conservation garden.

The planned Shanghai Grand Opera House in the park will take up 79,300 square meters, while the garden will occupy up to 30,000 square meters. Outdoor theaters will be built around the opera house to create a new cultural site along the Huangpu.

The riverside park will be open free to the public. It will stretch from the Lupu Bridge to Longbing Road in Pudong, opposite the West Bund in downtown Xuhui District.

The park will be reachable by Metro Line 13 (Shibo Avenue Station) and Line 7 (Houtan Station) as well as the planned Metro Line 19 (Houtan Station), according to the administration.

World Expo 2010 pavilions by Italy, France, Russia and Luxemburg will remain in the park. They will be redesigned and renovated to preserve the cultural legacy of the Expo, said the Shanghai Greenery and Public Sanitation Bureau.

The Italy and Luxemburg pavilions are now the Italy Center and hold Italian art and culture exhibitions. Other country pavilions closed after the Expo.

The park is also part of the Shanghai government’s Sponge City blueprint, a citywide plan to store rainwater in water-penetrating pavements, rooftop greenery and wetlands.

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