Some 70 percent of the Huangpu riverfront in downtown Shanghai will be open to the public by Saturday, with continuous paths, bridges and preserved historic buildings, the city government announced yesterday.
The paths have been created along a 32.4-kilometer riverside section between Yangpu and Xupu bridges and run through Yangpu, Hongkou, Huangpu and Xuhui districts as well as the Pudong New Area.
"Most parts of the waterfront in Huangpu, Xuhui and Hongkou have already opened, while several sections will newly open for the first time in Pudong known as the East Bund," said Wang Jian, an official with the city's riverside development office. Wang is in charge of the city government's broader plan to open up 45 kilometers of waterfront along the river by the end of the year.
The riverside areas in Yangpu, featured by preserved historic relics of the city's earliest industries, will open by Saturday, the district government said.
The East Bund section will connect Lujiazui financial center, the former World Expo site and many future city landmarks such as the Qiantan area, an upmarket business and residential site.
The east side of the riverbank was once intermittently blocked by ferry docks, commercial buildings, restaurants and construction sites. Only 45 percent of it is open to the public, according to the Pudong Riverside Development, Construction and Investment Co.
Over 80,000 square meters of constructions need to be demolished and 280,000 square meters of land are being developed into public areas, said Liu Yongfu, manager of the construction department of the company.
"My team and I have been accustomed to working till midnight to open up the waterfront according to the city government's schedule," Liu said.
A 15-kilometer-long continuous path in the East Bund will open to public by Saturday, Liu added.
Already under construction, 12 pedestrian bridges will span creeks and waterways running off the main river in Pudong, or skirt round some urban facilities along the river that would otherwise interrupt the paths.
A cluster of small parks, covering 1,000 to 3,000 square meters, are also planned along the river.
Three lanes for cycling, running and walking will be built along the bank.
The path will be surrounded by trees and plants to make it look like a green ribbon running along the river, said Pan Yaoming, general manager with the company who leads the opening up campaign for the East Bund.
Free bicycles will be available, and a cable car system will be built in future, according to the plan.
Many former industrial relics will be preserved along the riverside section. Minsheng Wharf near Minsheng Road, for instance, has been converted into an exhibition space.
A 50-meter-tall silo, built by a British shipping firm in 1908 and once the largest in Asia that stored most of the city's grain in its heyday, will become the main venue for the three-month Shanghai Urban Space Art Season. The venue will open tomorrow, the city's planning, land and resources administration said.
A former shipyard will be preserved and become a theater and commercial complex. Workers were installing lamps, planting shrubs and polishing handrails yesterday to prepare for the opening this weekend.
A coal warehouse near Bailianjing River will be turned into a major modern art gallery. Surrounding areas will provide places for artists to display sculptures and exhibitions, according to the plan.
A 4.6km-long section between Chuanyang River and Xupu Bridge will become an area for people to relax or exercise.