Public opinion required on North Bund development

Yang Jian
Shanghai's urban planning authority is looking to solicit public feedback for its North Bund development blueprint, on the opposite of the Bund and Lujiazui financial hub.
Yang Jian
Public opinion required on North Bund development
Ti Gong

An artist’s rendition of the North Bund in Hongkou District after a new round of development.

Shanghai’s urban planning authority is looking to solicit public feedback for its North Bund development blueprint, on the opposite of the Bund and Lujiazui financial hub, through March 20.

The North Bund waterfront along the Huangpu River is set to become a world-class riverside ecological space featuring international communities, car-free pedestrian zones and preserved historical buildings.

The area in the south part of Hongkou covers about 4 square kilometers, including 3.3 square kilometers of land regions, within Henan Road N., Haining-Zhoujiazui Road, Dalian Road, as well as the Huangpu River and Suzhou Creek.

The future planning on the region is focusing on the principles of “compound and compact, open and sharing, inclusive and mutually beneficial and innovative wisdom.”

The riverside region was the city’s earliest harbor for both cargo and passenger transportation. The British East India Company built the first cargo dock at Xujiatan beach, near what is now the North Bund in 1845.

When workers loaded cargo in the 1950s, the sirens of the ships could be heard from far away. It served as a major cargo transport hub until the 1990s when other major ports were developed in the city’s Pudong New Area and northern Baoshan District.

The blueprint reveals that the riverside business district will involve more life and recreation elements with more convenient transport. It will focus on the ecological environment and develop more public space for the residents and tourists.

“The waterfront will become an ‘urban sitting room’ gathering global resources, humanity and cultures, as well as ecological environment, to drive the regional development,” according to the Hongkou District Urban Planning and Natural Resources Bureau.

The area will also form a characteristic regional appearance blending modern high-rises and historical buildings, mainly around the Tilanqiao area and Hongkougang River. The region, named “Ark on the Sea,” will be created around the Tilanqiao area.

Highlighted historical structures also include the Shanghai Postal Building, the Baroque-style structure that was built in 1924. It has a bell tower on top and the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum with the historic Ohel Moishe Synagogue inside.

Smart technologies will be widely applied in the region, which is being developed into a hub for applications of 5G technologies. Hongkou is striving to become the world’s first district to be covered with gigabit 5G connectivity and broadband network.

The riverside region will remain focused on the shipping and finance sectors, with additional office buildings for multinational headquarters. It will also develop supplementary businesses such as exhibition, education, culture, hotel and life services.

An international community to accommodate 70,000 international professionals will be built along the river, with sports and recreation, health and medical, and international education facilities to serve the residents.

As a highlight, a “slow walking zone,” covering 500,000 square meters, has been planned in the region.

Half of the zone will be vehicle-free to allow citizens enjoy the communities and public space in the heart of the business district.

More convenient public transport, such as subway lines and buses, will connect the North Bund with the Bund in Huangpu District and Lujiazui in the Pudong New Area.

Planners have fully researched the global urban planning experiences and practices in London, New York and Tokyo to make the masterplan, according to the bureau.

Detailed development plans have been publicized on the website of Hongkou District government to solicit public opinion. People can send suggestions to the bureau at 518 Feihong Road by March 20.

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