Tuesday 21 February 2017
Having had some replacement parts stuck in both knees on the 23 January I am not quite as mobile as I would like to be, so when one of Sylvia’s colleagues suggested checking out the Shanghai Centre at People’s Square just around the corner from the hotel it sounded like a good idea.
Leaving the hotel an escalator took me up to the overpass crossing the busy Yan’an Road; steps took me down into Jin’an park. With its water feature and a couple of resident rhino statues this place is quite busy. People practice tai chi and kung fu and there was even a group of antiques doing line dancing – mostly in time to the music.
On two sides of the park are large expensive shopping centres with all the top branded shops. Across the road is the huge Jin’an Temple
I headed northeast along Nanjing road finding People’s Park less that 3km down the road.
The Urban Planning Centre is situated at the southeast corner of Peoples Park. This place is very well done, featuring six storeys about the city of Shanghai and where it’s heading in the future. There are large sections on the infrastructure. One water supply reservoir can supply 7.19 million cubic meters of water per day. That’s around a thousand glasses per day per person – pity you can’t drink it!
There is a 360° theatre, which takes you on a futuristic journey around the city, and many interactive displays. The best feature is a full scale model of the city as it’s planned for the future.
It’s a bit hard to see the detail in the pictures but this model has every building in the city on it. The population is around 24.25 million over the 16 districts.
After several hours of looking around the center the knees we’re getting a little tired so I took the easy way and bought a ticket for the subway for the return journey.
Wednesday 22 February 2017
While at the Urban Centre I had seen an area called Lingang New City about 50km to the east, near the coast and with a man-made circular lake about 3 kms wide. It looked interesting so I jumped a train to take a look.
The train ticket system here is one of the best I have seen. You press English, press on the map where you want to go, it tells you how much and asks you if you want a return. Put the money in and out comes your ticket and change. A guy lurked nearby checking each machine for left change.
The first part of the trip was pretty packed.
After a change of trains on to the new city line it was fairly quiet. The train rolled out through suburban Shanghai past a variety of buildings, old and new, with fields interspersed among them. The dirty windows and the smog made it difficult to get good pictures.
The exit from the underground station opened up into a auditorium like area.
A long escalator took me up to the lake edge. What I saw there was rather uninteresting. A sculpture in the middle of the lake was barely visible through the smog; the only shop was a container one.
Lots of tower cranes were visible nearby. I think I came five years too soon – the thriving bars and shops I imagined are yet to be built.
The bleakness of the place reminded me of the Craters of the Moon near Taupo in NZ. Soon I was back in the train heading home.