Fashion landmarks highlighted at City Innovation Forum

Yang Jian
A new group of fashion landmarks were singled out in downtown Changning District on Saturday as creative and dynamic urban regions.
Yang Jian
Fashion landmarks highlighted at City Innovation Forum
Ti Gong

The 4th City Innovation Forum in the historical Bell Tower of St Mary's Hall missionary school in Changning District.

A new group of fashion landmarks were singled out in downtown Changning District on Saturday as creative and dynamic urban regions.

The eight new fashion landmarks of the Hongqiao Fashion and Innovative Industry Zone include the Changning Raffles City mall, the Columbia Circle innovation park, Yuyintang stage, ShanghaiMart and DoBe E-manor of Changning.

“The Hongqiao fashion and innovation zone has become a benchmark for Shanghai’s ambition to become a capital of innovation,” Chen Ying, director of the Changning District Commerce Commission told the annual City Innovation Forum.

“These sites have also become the source and origin of the city’s fashion and innovation industries."

The Raffles City mall at 1185 Changning Road features a preserved historical Bell Tower built in 1926. The tower, where the forum was held, was once the tallest building of St Mary’s Hall, a local women’s missionary school. Students used to pray in the tower structure. Famous writer Eileen Chang, or Zhang Ailing, and educator Yu Qingtang once studied in the school.

The Columbia Circle compound on Yan’an Road W. near Panyu Road has been converted into a complex with offices and shopping. The site, owned by the Shanghai Institute of Biological Products, was once a social gathering place for Americans between 1927 and 1942. After World War II broke out in the Pacific, the site was taken over by Japanese invaders who used it as a transit camp for Allied nationals remaining in Shanghai.

More such cultural landmarks will open to the public in Changning, said Chen. New urban renewal projects on the nearly-century-old Wuyi Road will be completed next year, when a new “tranquil and elegant” road will be unveiled, she added.

Fashion landmarks highlighted at City Innovation Forum
Ti Gong

A street performance.

The 1.7-kilometer-long road, originally Tunsin Road, was constructed in 1925. The road features both Eastern and Western architectural styles with garden villas, new lane-style communities and modern high-rises.

The annual City Innovation Forum, which has been held for four years, aims to solicit ideas for the city's redevelopment campaign from over a dozen experts both home and abroad on urban planning, construction, design, creativity, art, culture and technology, according to Creater, organizer of the event.

The developer has created more than 30 innovative spaces in downtown. The most famous project is the renewal campaign on the historic Yuyuan Road, which dates back to 1911 and features well-preserved historical villas that were once home to big names such as scientist Qian Xuesen (1911-2009).

Today’s urban development has been guided by the demands of citizens, rather than industries and productions previously, said Fang Wen, president of Creater.

Xia Yu, chief researcher with the Shanghai Institute of Industry Transition and Development, said the city’s source of innovation came from “vitality, drive, intelligence, strength, tension and charm.”

More innovative zones like Yuyuan Road should be developed in Shanghai to meet its ambition to become a scientific and innovation center with global influence, said Xia.

A guided tour along the road was held in the afternoon, inviting people attending the forum to interact with residents, store owners and artists.

Fashion landmarks highlighted at City Innovation Forum
Ti Gong

A family views a display.

Fashion landmarks highlighted at City Innovation Forum
Ti Gong

Artists meet audience members.

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