March 13 2013

Waterfront Development in Shanghai: The Bund

For many urbanites, putting up with occasional construction is accepted as an unfortunate aspect of city living. In a rapidly developing city like Shanghai, however, it never stops. The construction of an ambitious redevelopment plan in the central area called “The Bund” will continue until 2020.
The Bund Shanghai
First established as a British settlement area, The Bund was a major trading port throughout the 19th and early 20th century and was home to some of the richest and grandest buildings in all of Asia. The Bund is now one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions, offering visitors a glimpse of the city’s past and a view of the ulta-modern skyline across the river in Pudong. Redevelopment has made the area much more pedestrian friendly, and new plans seek to further this by adding more parks and green spaces. By 2020, the entire 4.8 kilometer stretch will combine a modern designed financial hub, renovated historical buildings and residential communities.

With the redevelopment of the Bund successfully completed in 2010, the area will begin a new phase of renovations to the South and North of the existing pathway. The North section is slated to become a shipping business hub while the South will see an increase in commercial and residential buildings, in hopes that it will become a new financial and commercial centre.

The Bund Shanghai The South Bund redevelopment plan is especially ambitious and includes four main projects: two large buildings to serve as international financial centers, an urban complex of commercial and financial offices centered around a massive garden, the conversion of over 150 historic buildings into commercial spaces and the creation of an office park with environmentally sustainable buildings and open spaces.

Some fear that this long-term development plan will result in an over-development of the area that will drastically alter the character of the Bund, especially the South Bund where 35 new skyscrapers will be built by 2020.

How can rapidly developing cities sustainably plan and construct additions to their existing urban landscapes? What are some problems that may arise from such rapid growth and construction?

Credits: Image by Sophie Plottel. Data and images linked to sources.

Sophie Plottel

Sophie Plottel, a former GSP blogger, is a graduate of Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario with a Bachelor of Arts in Geography and a minor concentration in Global Development Studies. A native of Vancouver, Canada, she is interested in the continuing efforts of cities to adapt their policies and development strategies in response to climate change. Currently pursuing a master's of science in planning at the University of Toronto, she is studying the policies of sustainable urban development in emerging cities. After living in Shanghai, China for a year, she has became actively involved in Shanghai’s emerging environmental movement and enjoyed exploring the city's vibrant and diverse streetscape.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 13th, 2013 at 9:10 am and is filed under Architecture, Community/Economic Development, Environment, Government/Politics, History/Preservation, Infrastructure, Land Use, Landscape Architecture, Urban Planning and Design. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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