Suzhou Creek renovation nears completion

Wu Ruofan
Both riverbanks along the Suzhou Creek, a total length of 42 kilometers, will be open as recreational space for the public to enjoy by the end of the year.
Wu Ruofan

Both sides of the Suzhou Creek, a length of 42 kilometers, will be open to the public by the end of the year as recreational space to enjoy.

According to Shanghai’s urban design plan, the three-year greenway project, along with the 45-kilometer riverfront of the Huangpu River, will become an exhibition window for the city’s vibrant culture and multifunctional living areas.

Suzhou Creek, the biggest tributary of the Huangpu, runs through central areas of the city and stretches from the Outer Ring to the Bund.

The riverbanks in Huangpu District, about 3 kilometers from Chengdu Road Bridge to Waibaidu Bridge near the Bund, will become a pedestrian-favored corridor.

The project is in three parts — east, middle and west — with different cultural themes.

Dubbed “the gate of Suzhou Creek,” the east part from Waibaidu Bridge to Zhapu Road Bridge features landmarks such as the Jiuzi Park, Rowing Club and modern pavilions.

A gas station with a coffee shop has become a visitor favorite after its renovation because of its unique architectural design.

Hu Xiu, a passerby who happens to work for Sinopec, said: “It’s really surprising and pleasing to see such a combination (of gas station and coffee shop), which is a great example of creative public space, and I think is necessary for a big city as Shanghai.”

Lin, 60, who lives nearby and enjoys taking a stroll, said he feels a mix of pride and nostalgia.

“The changes along the creek over the years are absolutely marvelous and you can tell how much effort the government has put into it,” said Lin.

“But sometimes I still recall that small wood pavilion facing the Huangpu River, where I often went and played back in the old days,” he said.

The east and west part of the project is now open to the public, while the middle part, from Wuzhen Road Bridge to Henan Road Bridge, is still under construction due to its impact on surrounding traffic.

The 45-kilometer riverfront of the Huangpu, which has been accessible to the public since the end of 2017, is also being upgraded. 

Its banks in Xuhui District, an area of 9.4 square kilometers, will become a global hub of artificial intelligence, art, technology and health care, according to the district.

Its AI Tower and Yidao Art Tower will serve as the main engines driving the development of AI and art industries, officials said.

Construction of the West Bund Financial Hub started last month with the goal of becoming a financial center on a par with the Bund and Lujiazui.

In the future, the district will promote cultural integration between the banks, including launching cross-river cable cars and cruises to strengthen connections with the Pudong New Area.

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