A new thoroughfare for the Zhenru Subcenter in Putuo District has opened to serve the rapid development of the western gateway to link the Yangtze River Delta region.
The south-north Zhenhua Road N. between Tongchuan and Caoyang roads has become a major thoroughfare for one of the four subcenters of the city, along with Xujiahui in Xuhui District, Wujiaochang in Yangpu District and Huamu in the Pudong New Area.
The road has effectively connected the Dahua, Wanli, Zhenru and Caoyang areas in Putuo.
The new road now serves as another major south-north thoroughfare along with the busy Caoyang Road.
The newly opened road is part of the future Zhenru Subcenter. The Wuning and Tongchuan roads have created the main east-west thoroughfare for the region.
Beneath the ground, five subway lines will interchange in Zhenru in future. They include the already operating Metro Lines 7 and 11 as well as the under-construction Lines 14 and 15 and planned Line 20.
With the expanding traffic system, the Zhenru Subcenter is expected to not only boost the development of neighboring Baoshan and Jiading districts, but also the whole Yangtze River Delta region amid the national strategy of the integrated development of the delta.
To support the development of the region, Putuo District has demolished Hongqi Village, once the largest urban village in downtown with numerous illegal structures, as well as shutting down a group of fish, flower, frozen food, poultry and furniture markets.
The Hongqi Village alone once had nine major markets, 16 small eateries, hostels and Internet cafes as well as over 1,200 small businesses, many of them were illegal or unlicensed, and 4,800 households.
Most of the inhabitants were out-of-towners and 80 percent of the 362,000 square meters of structures were illegally built.
The major renovation campaign to convert the former urban village into a core section of the Zhenru Subcenter started in 2015. The Tongchuan Road Aquatic Products Market, once the most popular and famous market of its kind in the city, has been shut down and demolished along with the Jeshing furniture market.
Four lots of land, within the former village, were sold for around 9.4 billion yuan (US$1.4 billion) in October 2018. According to the blueprint, the area will feature about 100,000 square meters of commercial facilities, 300,000 square meters of offices, 200,000 square meters of high-end residences, as well as 30,000 square meters of public cultural facilities, including a major theater, by 2020.
“The area of the former Hongqi Village has been named the Zhenru Eye, meaning the brightest and core section of the future Zhenru Subcenter,” said Liao Huarong, chief planner of the subcenter.
Zhenru, formerly known as Taoxi, or Peach Creek, was founded in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) after the construction of the Zhenru Temple. The town between the former Jiading and Shanghai counties was a prosperous marketplace.
The temple, built in 1320, has a 600-year-old well-preserved pavilion, said to be the oldest wooden structure in the city. The temple is also famous for temple fairs and the Lantern Festival.
The northwest gateway to the city’s downtown was later famous for the Tongchuan Road market and Hongqi Village, along with a number of markets that have now been demolished.
In the future, the subcenter will introduce high-end cultural and entertainment facilities, sports centers, medical services and international education to the former sites of the markets and village, according to the district’s urban planning authority.