Renovations will start in full swing across Shanghai to open new downtown waterfront areas along the core section of Suzhou Creek to the public.
The 125-kilometer-long creek, which flows from Qingpu District to Waibaidu Bridge, is the Huangpu River's biggest tributary.
According to the plan, a total of 42 kilometers of downtown riverside section of the creek will open to the public by 2020, featuring continuous sightseeing pathways.
About 13.5 kilometers of the riverside areas remain closed in downtown with 51 spots interrupted by infrastructure, companies or neighborhoods, the city government announced on Monday.
Constructions will initially start around July to open up new waterfront sections in Huangpu and Hongkou districts.
A 1.2-kilometer-long riverside area between the Bund and the Henan Road Bridge as well as Wuzhen Road Bridge and Chengdu Road Bridge in Huangpu will get renovated.
In Hongkou District, a 1-kilometer-long riverside area will be developed into an estuary park where visitors can enjoy the scenery of both historical buildings on the banks of the creek and the Lujiazui skyline.
Another 6.3-kilometer-long riverside in Jing’an District will get renovated with a 3.4-kilometer-long new pedestrian path. Three new attractions will be developed with the names of “Riverside Balcony,” “Waterfront Pearl” and “Historical Scroll.”
Several new waterfront sections in Putuo and Changning districts have already been completed.
The 1.6-kilometer stretch between Xikang Road and Wuning Road bridges in Putuo, which was interrupted by companies or neighborhoods, has been connected and opened to the public.
The waterfront known as Baocheng Bay was home to a fifth of China's earliest textile factories, dating back to the 1920s. After 1949, the Shanghai No. 1, 6 and 7 cotton factories were based there, along with a military warehouse for quilts and uniforms. The site was dubbed the “cradle of China's textile industry.”
Now, a new 1.9-kilometer-long riverside section in Changning will open to the public in July. The natural scenery has been largely preserved to create a “secret garden” for visitors, according to the district government.
Construction will start in October on the west extension of the riverside region in Changning, which will connect some landmark greenbelts such as the Zhongshan Park, Hongqiao Riverside Park and Linkong No. 1 and 2 parks.
A 600-meter-long riverside in Jiading District will also be renovated from October. Industrial sites near the Outer Ring Road will be redeveloped into ecological waterfront regions.
According to the development plan titled “Striving for a World-Class Waterfront Area,” continuous riverside zones will be created along both the Huangpu River and Suzhou Creek by 2020, featuring more greenery, preserved historic buildings, bridges, “sponge city” technology and even “harmonious hues.”
Sidewalks stretching 45 kilometers along the banks of the Huangpu River between the Yangpu and Xupu bridges are already open. The city plans to extend those both upstream and downstream, while improving services and scenery on the existing section.
Shanghai government has also invested over 25 billion yuan (US$3.6 billion) in the fourth stage of the rehabilitation project for the creek.
The rehabilitation project is aimed to improve the water quality of the creek and flood prevention. It will also make the waterfront a more eco-friendly and user-friendly space.