North transformation appeals to top tech firms

Yang Jian
A cluster of scientific innovation enterprises is rising on Shanghai's former iron-steel base in north Baoshan District as the city undergoes a south-north industrial shift.
Yang Jian
North transformation appeals to top tech firms
Ti Gong

An investment promotion meeting was held during the 5th CIIE.

Shanghai's south-north industrial transformation strategy is transforming north Baoshan District's former iron-steel base into a base for scientific innovation industries.

Zhai Lei, deputy director of Baoshan, told an investment promotion meeting at the 5th China International Import Expo that five new leading industries have emerged in Baoshan: biomedicine, advanced materials, robotics, information technology and contemporary services.

"A large swathe of tech firms have gathered in the district, with headquarters in the south and manufacturing bases in the north," Zhai said.

Leading companies include CanSino Biologics and Abogen, developers of one of China's first messenger RNA (mRNA) COVID-19 vaccines, as well as Fanuc Robot Co.

By 2025, the industrial output of the new material sector in Baoshan will exceed 150 billion yuan (US$20.7 billion), while that of intelligent manufacturing will reach 100 billion yuan. The total output of the biomedicine sector will be over 20 billion yuan by then.

The south-north transformation of the former iron-steel industries in northern Baoshan District and the chemical industries in southern Jinshan District has been listed in Shanghai's key development blueprint in the 2035 master plan, along with the five "new cities" in the suburbs.

As a key part of the "north transformation," Nanda, covering 6.3 square kilometers, is rising from the former Nanda Industrial Site, which was blamed for much of the soil and air pollution. The area connects two ancient towns of the city: Nanxiang in Jiading District and Dachang in Baoshan.

North transformation appeals to top tech firms
Ti Gong

Exhibitors from home and abroad attend the Baoshan promotion meeting.

The blueprint envisions a futuristic digital metropolis featuring parks, canals, and transit-oriented development projects, as well as expansive underground area for Metro stations and commercial amenities.

The famed Baosteel Group and more than 300 additional metal refineries and chemical engineering plants date back to the 1930s in the Wusong area of Baoshan District, considered the cradle of China's modern industry.

The majority of the factories have closed or been relocated due to pollution measures.

The 26-square-kilometer land will now be turned into the Wusong Smart City, a subcenter that will include new materials and hardware industries, scientific and cultural innovation parks, commercial and business facilities, residential neighborhoods, and waterfront attractions.

The Wusong smart and Nanda digital "cities" are linked by the Wenzaobang, known as Baoshan's mother river. A riverfront promenade and a new park refurbished from an abandoned warehouse have both opened to the public.

The 1.4-kilometer-long waterfront region in Miaohang Town features preserved industrial heritages, mainly former iron-steel factories.

Small cargo vessels still use the waterway, the city's third major waterway after the Huangpu River and the Suzhou Creek. Cranes and containers have been transformed into park attractions, manufacturing space for startups, and artists' studios.

According to Zhai, the district government has vowed to allocate a billion yuan each year to help scientific innovation enterprises with land, rental, and financial services.

North transformation appeals to top tech firms
Ti Gong

Plans for Shanghai's north transformation strategy are on display at the CIIE.

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