Business entities sign up to join Fengxian's 'agricultural art park'

The Agri-art Park covering 48 square kilometers aims to turn Fengxian's traditional farm industry into tourism venues, museums and corporate headquarters.

The first group of corporate and commercial entities agreed yesterday to establish projects in Fengxian District’s massive “agricultural art park.” 

The park, which is still under construction, is designed to cover 48 square-kilometers in Zhuanghang Town, a major rice producing area of Shanghai. The park is meant to turn the area into a site of rural tourism, cultural amenities and corporate headquarters.

The park will also include about 150 farm and garden complexes. Visitors can lease plots of land in the park, which they can cultivate themselves or invite local farmers to grow produce on their behalf. Companies, particularly those in the cosmetics and health industries, are also encouraged to set up shop in the park.

So far, over 20 companies have shown interest in operating commercial facilities or basing themselves in the park, said Tu Junping, a senior official with Zhuanghang Town.

The first batch of projects includes an outlet shopping center and a cultural innovation exhibition center. They will be developed on the former site a village-owned enterprise of Yimin Village, Tu said.

Another four companies have signed to base themselves in the park. They include the China sales headquarters of a US vehicle company, which plans to convert a former village committee building into its sales center.

Apart from corporate offices, the park will include museums, hotels, sports facilities and public kitchens for tourists to cook fresh produce harvested from its farmlands. It will also offer a home-stay service for tourists to experience the city’s countryside lifestyle, said Gu Yaoming, deputy director of Fengxian.

These new facilities will be built on land previously occupied by outdated factories and workshops that were torn down to make way for the park.

Some of the area’s factory houses will be kept as relics of the district. The local government has established 18 “valuable industrial heritages,” such as a former cement plant within the park. A historic City God Temple and a dozen ancient bridges will be preserved as attractions in the future park.

Zhuanghang Town originated during the Song Dynasty (960-1279) and historically has been the city’s agricultural base. It contains Shanghai’s best paddy fields, in terms of both quality and production.

The ancient town has also retained traditional folk arts such as paper-carving, agricultural poetry and Hanguang ceramics. Many of these cultural artifacts will be showcased in the park.

The park is part of the city government’s efforts to demolish outdated factories in suburban districts and use the cleared space to create new parks and agricultural land. Plans are underway to construct a total of 20 suburban country parks covering a total of 120 square kilometers.

Several such parks — including Jiabei Country Park in Jiading District and Jinshan Langxia Country Park as well as Pujiang Country Park in Minhang District — have already opened to the public.




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