BAOSHAN District has big plans for an area along the Yangtze River. Formerly used for heavy industry and shipping, the area’s wharves were demolished in 2011. Now the old Shanggang 14 area is set for a major revamp.
The government’s vision is to “awaken” the area and give it back to the people. Renaming it Shanghai Long Beach, the project has a budget of 15 billion yuan (US$2.43 billion) and will include upscale apartment buildings, lush parks, man-made waterways, kindergartens, a music hall, commercial plazas and luxury hotels.
It will cover 77.62 hectares with greenery covering half of the area.
“The Shanghai Long Beach project is the largest industrial transformation project in Shanghai,” says a Baoshan official. “Everything we learn and experience during the planning and building stages may provide valuable lessons on sustainable development to other coastal cities.”
Adjacent to Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal, Shanghai Long Beach will also include a marina that can dock up to 270 yachts.
Another project highlight is a viewing tower. It will be approximately 180 meters and the district government will invite architects from around the world to submit designs for the tower.
The project calls for a combination of 4,600 apartments and houses with the necessary supporting facilities.
Shanghai Long Beach is a prime example of the district’s goal to utilize its natural resources such as being along the Yangtze River.
Wusong Paotaiwan Wetland Forestry Park is a scenic spot embodying a harmonious relationship between humans and nature.
The park is on the former site of Fort Bay, which was a key military base on the Huangpu River. The Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) government built gun platforms there and it became a vital coastal fort.
Today, the park includes mud flats, gardens, a children’s amusement park, a commemorative square, a dock and a gym. Shanghai Yangtze River Estuary Science and Technology Museum is also in the park.
Near the Yangtze area, a winding wooden path offers the opportunity to spot various species of birds flying among the water weeds. It’s also a great spot for a romantic walk at sunset or to watch luxury cruise ships sail past.
Baoshan was one of China’s earliest treaty ports and home to Wusong Merchant Academy, the country’s first maritime college.
Shaped like a giant shell, Wusongkou International Terminal represents the “eyes of the Yangtze River.” It cost 870 million yuan and is Asia’s largest cruise terminal.
According to the government, the terminal has served more than 1.4 million travelers and over 300 cruise liners since it opened in October 2011.
The cruise industry is expected to expand further and the district is working to improve services while also opening up more international routes to compete with Singapore and Hong Kong.
Developing the industry is an important part of building Shanghai into a world-class tourist destination, according to the Baoshan government.
World Expo 2010, which gave Shanghai a chance to shine on the world stage, and Shanghai Disney Resort, scheduled to open next year, present an opportunity for Baoshan to attract more tourists.
The district government sees this as a golden opportunity to invest in projects such as Shanghai Long Beach to give travelers and locals more reasons to visit.