More than a thousand visitors made a beeline to the city's urban planning exhibition hall every day during the latter part of the seven-day Spring Festival holiday, mainly for an exhibition about the city's newly approved master plan for 2035.
The Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center received more than 1,300 visitors — both tourists and residents — each day, or 30 percent more than its daily average, since it reopened on Sunday, according to Zhu Kan, an official with the center. The center was closed from Thursday, or Chinese New Year's eve, through Saturday.
Most visitors were drawn to the new exhibition on the third floor titled "Shanghai 2035," which is the first official exhibition about the city's long-term master plan since it was approved by the State Council, or China's Cabinet, in December, Zhu said.
"The unexpected popularity of the center during the holiday shows people's attention to and affection for Shanghai and its future," he added.
According to the plan, which also encompasses a longer-term vision through 2050, Shanghai has been positioned as the core city in the Yangtze River Delta urban cluster, an international economic, financial, trade and shipping center, a technology and innovation hub as well as an international cultural metropolis.
"We just moved to Shanghai and wanted to get familiar with the city and its future," said Caren Patricia from the United Kingdom, who was among the visitors.
"I think Shanghai is a really fantastic metropolis after visiting this planning center," said Jaana ja Kakke, a tourist from Finland.
The exhibition also attracted many locals who took the opportunity to learn about the city's new development plan. "I wanted to let my daughter know what the city would look like when she grows up," said Wang Renwei, a researcher at the Shanghai Research Institute of Materials.
"I also wanted to have a look at what my hometown will become when I would be 60 years old," he added.
The exhibition, in both English and Chinese, explains the blueprint with charts, photos and multimedia installations. In one of the sections, for instance, 81 photos taken and collected by Shanghai residents about their vision for the city's future are on display.
Many urban development practices in other global cities are listed to explain how Shanghai could achieve its goal to become an "excellent global city" by 2035, the main target set by the city government in the blueprint, Zhu said.
Visitors can also take part in various surveys and quiz on the master plan, which will be taken into consideration by the city's top planning body, according to the center.
The five previous major master plans for Shanghai are also on show along with the latest blueprint. They include the Greater Shanghai Plans in 1928 and 1946, the city's earliest modern urban plans, as well as the two general plans made in 1959 and 1986.