Jinshan reinvents itself from polluted past

Li Qian
To rid itself of the stereotyped image of a remote countryside filled with smokestack industries, the district has been upgrading existing industries and adding new ones.
Li Qian

A greener, prettier and smarter Jinshan is taking shape in the city's southwest corner.

To rid itself of the stereotyped image of a remote countryside filled with smokestack industries, over the years the district has been upgrading traditional chemical and textiles industries, and introducing advanced biomedicine and unmanned aerial vehicle industries.

Industrial transformation, according to Jinshan Director Liu Jian, plays the most important role in elevating the district's "soft power."

Rural revitalization, of course, seeks economic output, but for the countryside in a metropolis like Shanghai, it's just the basis. Ecological and aesthetic importance also matters. 

"We hope industrial transformation can help improve urban space, management and image," Liy said in a radio interview today.

One manifestation of local soft power is the district's increasingly popular seaside carnival.

The three-month carnival kicked off over the weekend with special fireworks shows held on City Beach. Figures show the number of spectators was the highest ever.

"In mid-July, we will open a seafood street and launch sea fishing activities. In August, we will hold a beer party and sailing boat competition," said duty manager Cui Xiaosong of City Beach. "There are so many activities to take part in."

The 8.1-square-kilometer coastal tourism zone has become a landmark and name card of Jinshan.

The area includes City Beach, Jinshanzui Fishing Village and other facilities, 3.08 square kilometers of which are newly reclaimed from the sea with construction still under way. In the near future, recreation facilities, an ecological wetland and resorts will be built.

Officials respond to complaints and concerns 

1) How will you handle the upcoming flood season?

Liu: The flood season is near, but we have upgraded our data-backed monitoring platform to ensure safety. As many sensors are installed, the platform can automatically monitor potential risks, such as water-logged roads, and release alarms. Phone numbers of officials are connected to the platform. Once an alarm goes off, relevant officials can be reached immediately. 

2)Where to swim?

Liu: Jinshan has a 23.3-kilometer-long coast line. But not all people like or can swim in sea waters; for instance, those who are very sensitive to sun exposure. But in Jinshan, there are only seven qualified swimming pools in the summer, far from satisfying local residents. Because some people are complaining about the closure of swimming pools built in schools, I have suggested dividing one to two lanes for students and open the rest to the public. After all, they are not private swimming pools.

3) Where to take the bus?

Liu: Jinshan covers an area of 613 square kilometers, and local residents need public transportation. But as an outer suburb, we don't have so many passengers. We may have some during morning and evening peak hours, but the rest of the time most buses have very few passengers. We have to take cost into consideration. But for sure we will work to offer convenience to residents.

Cao Feng (deputy director of Jinshan's housing and rural-urban development commission): As more people are moving to the Jinshui Lake community, we plan to open a new bus route between the Lianhua Road Metro Station and Zhangyan Town, with one of the stopovers in the community. The new route has gained business approval, but it still needs time to build related facilities to support operations.

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