New plan to spruce up city's streets, waterfront

Shanghai plans to remove 100 kilometers of overhead cables and open 12 kilometers of public space along both sides of the Suzhou Creek this year.

Shanghai plans to remove 100 kilometers of overhead cables and open 12 kilometers of public space along both sides of the Suzhou Creek this year, Huang Yongping, director of the city’s housing and urban-rural development commission, said on Wednesday.

Last year, 116 kilometers of wires were removed. In January, overhead cables tangling up around the Wukang Building, formerly the Normandie Apartments, were removed, restoring the look of the signature masterpiece designed by Hungarian architect Laszlo Hudec.

Apart from the wires, about 20 million square meters of illegal construction and some 500 outdoor advertising boards that pose safety threats will be demolished.

Half a million square meters of historic buildings in downtown areas that still house people will undergo renovations this year, Huang said. More than 25,000 households will benefit from the project.

Public spaces will be another focus of the commission this year, Huang added. Last year, the city issued a three-year master plan to establish a world-class waterfront view alongside the Huangpu River and the Suzhou Creek.

While the 45-kilometer waterfront along both sides of the Huangpu River opened up last year, the city plans to turn the creek waterfront into a multifunctional and dynamic zone that allows city residents to hang out and entrepreneurs to set up shops.

This year, the first 12 kilometers of waterfront along the creek will open to the public. By 2020, a total of 42 kilometers of waterfront on both sides of the creek will open, Huang said.

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