An aerial view of the Oriental Beauty Valley
Shanghai's suburban Fengxian District is taking big strides in developing its burgeoning new city, with a focus on innovation and livability, its top official said on Thursday.
Covering 68 square kilometers, equivalent to about twice the size of the Lujiazui financial hub in the Pudong New Area, Fengxian New City will accommodate a million residents by 2035, creating a comprehensive "hub city", Yuan Quan, Party secretary of Fengxian, told a press briefing.
"Fengxian is a vibrant new city, a place that offers a great living and working environment. It is a city with limitless potential," he said.
"The district is committed to building a beautiful, livable and dynamic area that is the city of the future that people aspire to."
Shanghai introduced the five "new cities" concept in the suburban districts of Jiading, Qingpu, Songjiang and Fengxian, as well as Nanhui in Pudong, to boost social and economic development.
The Shanghai Fish lake and "urban parlor" of Fengxian
A new round of urban planning pertaining to public space, population, industry and transportation has been launched for Fengxian New City, which includes 10 major blocks and a central activity center amid the abundant waterways and farmlands.
The district is optimizing its education, healthcare and cultural amenities. It will witness a remarkable influx of students due to enhancements in local education, such as the opening of new branches of the city's leading high schools and international divisions.
Healthcare facilities have also expanded, benefiting thousands of residents. A year since opening, the Fengxian branch of the Shanghai International Peace Maternity and Child Health Hospital has provided outpatients and emergency services to 250,000 people, conducted nearly 17,000 surgeries and delivered nearly 4,000 newborn babies.
In terms of culture, old industrial spaces have been transformed into vibrant public activity centers for youth. The Fengxian Museum has attracted over 1.1 million visitors since it opened in 2019.
The district's economic landscape is also flourishing, with fiscal revenue totaling 51.2 billion yuan (US$7 billion) in the first eight months of this year, marking a 12.8 percent increase.
Farmers harvest lotus blossoms in a pond in Fengxian District.
As a highlight, the Oriental Beauty Valley stands out as a leading industry hub, specializing in food, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. The valley's brand value has reached 28.7 billion yuan, with output value surpassing 70 billion yuan. Some 37 percent of Shanghai's cosmetics companies are based in the valley.
Another key development region is the Lingang Special Area, contributing over half of Fengxian's territory, with a focus on the development of new energy vehicles.
Fengxian also aims to revitalize its rural areas by improving rural living conditions that have benefited thousands of households. There are 100,000 farmer households in Fengxian with 100,000 tons of rice and 230,000 tons of vegetables produced annually.
In one of the campaigns, villagers are encouraged to rent their houses to the government, with the buildings converted into homestay projects and offices for startups. The township government has relocated villagers to newly built residential neighborhoods.
The villagers can receive money from the lease of their houses, share in the tourism project, and get jobs guiding tourists.
Fengxian is also committed to ecological preservation, with an increase in green spaces, cleaner air and improvements in the overall environmental quality, according to the district government.
A juvenile activity center renovated from old factory buildings in Fengxian
Editor: Xu Qing