City appoints first 'nightlife director'

Shanghai is aiming to revive its nightlife after shutting down noisy late-night bars and eateries over the past few years in response to residents' complaints.
City appoints first 'nightlife director'
Ti Gong

Chen Zhuofu (left), deputy director of Huangpu District, has been appointed the city's first nightlife director on Friday along with five nightlife CEOs (holding certificates) as his assistants.

Shanghai has appointed its first "nightlife director" on Friday as it unveiled attractions to promote the city's nightlife.

Huangpu District's deputy director Chen Zhuofu will be assisted by five “nightlife CEOs,” mainly experienced executives at downtown landmarks such as Yuyuan Garden Malls, Shanghai New World and Xintiandi.

Chen and the CEOs then jointly launched the Huaihai Carnival which includes many dining, entertainment and cultural events at night through May 19.

Over 300 art performances, including many night-time shows, will be staged around Xintiandi, said Clarence Lee, general manager of the Taipingqiao Project and one of the nightlife CEOs.

Shanghai is aiming to revive its nightlife after shutting down noisy late-night bars and eateries over the past few years in response to residents’ complaints. It is part of the city government's efforts to become an international shopping destination.

Huangpu has been operating a number of popular nightlife destinations such as Xintiandi and Found158, featuring bars and eateries from across the world. These sites have become especially popular with foreign residents and tourists, according to the district government.

City appoints first 'nightlife director'
Wang Rongjiang / SHINE

Foreign customers dine at a downtown nightlife destination.

Several downtown nightlife attractions were unveiled on Friday.

They include the Cool Docks, a commercial complex developed from the city's historical Shiliupu Wharf along the Huangpu River. The dock will feature stylish bars, recreation clubs, themed restaurants and trendy retail outlets at night.

The Yunnan Road eatery street will attract nightlife lovers with bars, time-honored Shanghai eateries and famous Chinese traditional cuisines.

Yuanmingyuan Road near the Bund will develop some of its English-style historical structures into bars and restaurants as well as art exhibitions to develop a vibrant nightlife.

The Central on Nanjing Road E., a commercial complex with four classic properties built in the 1930s, will highlight commercial, tourism, cultural resources as well as fashion shows in the evening, according to the district government.

Detailed regulations will be released to ensure the orderly operation of these nightlife spaces and prevent the noise, the drunks and the fights of the past.

New York named “nightlife mayors” to manage relations between neighborhoods and night spots in 2017. Similar posts have been set up in Amsterdam and London to boost the nightlife economy.

According to regulations released by Shanghai's Commission of Commerce and other authorities, the city aims to develop a prosperous nightlife economy between 7pm and 6am.

Bars that meet requirements will be allowed to have tables on the street at certain periods. Some streets will also be closed to traffic at certain times for bars and late night snack stalls.

A blueprint will be released to develop more landmark nightlife destinations citywide. They will also feature musicals, films, bookstores, music clubs and other late-night entertainments, according to the new regulations.

Madang Road in Huangpu, for instance, will allow some street businesses at weekends, said Li Henan, an official with the district's commission of commerce.

City appoints first 'nightlife director'
Wang Rongjiang / SHINE

Customers dine at a popular downtown nightlife destination.

Other districts have also released their plans.

Hongkou District plans to initially open nightlife markets around its Musical Valley as well as several branch streets such as Harbin and Tengke roads, said Shen Suzi, deputy director with Hongkou's commerce commission.

The Shanghai Musical Valley along several branches of the Huangpu River features a national musical industry center, the 1933 Old Millfun.

The Pudong New Area will release new policies to support the development of its nightlife economy, mainly at the Lujiazui financial hub, said Zhou Feibao, an official with Pudong's commerce authority.

For instance, vehicles will be allowed to park on some small streets at night. Buses will extend their operating hours at night around the Lujiazui area, Zhou said. Some riverside buildings along the Huangpu River for waterfront management might be converted into commercial facilities, he added.

Baoshan plans to open its wetland parks and the popular Gucun Park at night to support nearby nightlife markets, said Chen Yongfa, deputy director with Baoshan's commission of commerce.

The plans have been welcomed to nightlife enthusiasts, but also raised concerns from residents living nearby.

"The nightlife here is cool because it still retains a very authentic Chinese culture," said a tourist from New York.

A resident surnamed Pan who lives near the Tengke Road, one of the planned nightlife streets in Hongkou, said "a prosperous nightlife market may inevitably bring about noise and affect the nearby residents."

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