Yangpu riverside a national example on industrial heritage protection
The Yangpu waterfront, known as the cradle of China's early industries, is set to become a national demonstration zone on how to protect and reuse industrial heritage sites.
The riverside area along the Huangpu River is known as the birthplace of China's modern industries with the nation's first water, electricity, shipbuilding and textile companies.
Many of the industrial buildings, such as the iconic Yangshupu Power Plant, have been preserved during redevelopment of the riverside region.
"The over century-old industrial heritage of the Yangpu waterfront is one of the most important historical resources of Shanghai, which must be preserved and promoted," said Fang Shizhong, director general of the Shanghai Administration of Culture and Tourism, at a meeting with the Yangpu government early this week.
He asked to enhance both the preservation of historical structures and opening-up of the riverside areas for residents.
The district government has signed cooperation deals with the Department of Cultural Heritage and Museology of Fudan University, the megacity management research institute of Tongji University, and the publicity department of the University of Shanghai for Science and Technology to support the preservation and redevelopment efforts of riverside industrial heritage.
A documentary titled "Industrial Footprint of Century-old Yangpu" has been made and a preview video of the 12-episode serial was released this week.
Former model workers and experts who once worked in the factories along the Yangpu waterfront were invited to narrate their experiences and memories about the riverside area in the documentary.
Key interviewees include Huang Baomei, a textile model worker who was awarded the July 1 Medal by President Xi Jinping in 2021; and Zheng Shiling, a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and a professor at Tongji University.
The industrial value of the Yangpu waterfront accounted for one-fourth of Shanghai's total output and 5 percent of China's total in the 1980s.
Most of the remaining factory buildings have been preserved and converted into conference, exhibition and art centers, as well as parks.
The Yangshupu Power Plant, for instance, once the biggest thermal power plant in East Asia and Shanghai's tallest structure, is about to accommodate global headquarters in the energy and environmental sectors.