TAOPU Town in northwest Putuo District was once a heavy industrial zone of polluting factories and sprawling warehouses, a place lagging far behind the times.
Today, the nearly 20-square-kilometer (4,942 acre) area has great potential to become a new, green development zone called "Wisdom Town" focusing on high technology and commerce.
Plans call for a new city to rise from the old industrial zone. The blueprint call for a central commercial complex connected with Metro Line 11, a high technology and research zone, a business and commerce sector, as well as an ecological residential area.
Last October, Putuo contracted with Caohejing Hi-Tech Park to develop a new intellectual science center. Caohejing, a successful high-technology industrial zone in Xuhui District, generates around 30 billion yuan (US$4.8 billion) in sales per square kilometer a year, is expected to give Taopu a boost on its way to becoming a major development zone.
For the past 10 years, Taopu has been cleaning up and managing the heavy pollution cause by rapid industrial development.
Factories were closed and more than 10 new green zones were built, including a one-square-kilometer green wedge.
In 2009, Taopu officially became a "production-based services functional area" (Taopu Area) and a key part of Shanghai's blueprint for transforming old industrial areas.
The aim is to revitalize the area, making it a landmark in the western part of Shanghai.