History & culture

The Putuo District was established in December 1945, originally named the thirteenth district and changed to its current name in January 1947 after the Putuo road in this area. It is located in the north western part of Shanghai where the city and rural outskirts merge. This district covers an area of 55.47 square kilometers and borders Zhabei District on the east, Jiading District on the west, Changning and Jing’an District on the south and Baoshan District on the north. By the end of the year 2007, it has a permanent residential population of 1134 thousand people, or 319.9 thousand households, including a non-native population of 237.7 thousand people. The Putuo District is made up of eight sub-districts and two towns.

The Putuo District is the junction of road transportation in western Shanghai, known as Shanghai’s ‘west hall lounge’. The Shanghai-Nanjing Railway and the Shanghai-Hangzhou Railway join together at the Shanghai West Railway Station in this area. The Zhennan Road and the Cao’an Road are respectively the starting point of national road No.204 and No. 312. The Shanghai-Jiaxing Highway begins in its northwestern part and the Shanghai-Nanjing Highway its western part. The city’s inner loop highway, outer loop highway and the Mingzhu Line (subway line 3) also run across this district.

As an old industrial zone, the Putuo District was one of the cradle lands where Chinese Communist Party had led workers’ revolutions. Early activists of Chinese Communist Party such as Li Qihan, Deng Zhongxia, Xiang Ying, Li Lisan, Liu Shaoqi had all led workers’ revolutions in this district. This area used to depend on textile or flour industries in the past. However, with the policy of reform and opening-up, it has developed into a comprehensive industrial park with various industries in a short time. Due to the development of real estate, logistics, commerce, modern urban industry and the third industries such as tourism and service in the market economy, its economy is growing every year. Next, Putuo is to become the modernized trade market for Shanghai and the Yangtze River Delta economic zone as well.

The Putuo District used to have many squatter settlements, among which Tanzi Wan, Panjia Wan, Zhujia Wan, Yaoshui Lane were the most well-known in old Shanghai. It started to build Shanghai’s first workers’ residential quarter, Caoyangxin village in 1951 and gradually set up more than 60 residential quarters. In 1992, the Putuo District started a third wave of house building. In the last decade, the old squatter settlements have all been renewed or reconstructed and more than 300 skyscrapers and hundreds of modern buildings have been established, among which are the 2150 thousand square kilometers Shanghai Wanli City, a representative case of the development of new city and the 1600 thousand square kilometers Zhongyuan Liangwan City, a representative case of the reconstruction of old city. The renewal and modernization of old city has enabled the perfection of the city infrastructure such as roads and bridges. Now, the whole district is making efforts to build a new Putuo.

Among the tourist attractions of the Putuo District are Jade Buddha Temple, famous for its two white-jade statues of Sakyamuni with one seated and the other one reclining; Zhenru Temple, ranked as cultural heritage under state protection in 1996 and which holds annual Zhenru Cultural Temple fairs; Huxi Mosque, one of the large mosques in Shanghai; Huxi Workers Cultural Palace, Shanghai’s largest garden-like cultural palace; Changfeng Park, famous for its beautiful scenery , the ocean world beneath the ornamental lake and Shanghai International Flower Festivals which are held every other year and also Changshou Park, Haitang Park, Weilaidao Park, etc.