Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall, Shanghai, China

The Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall, documenting the changing face of Shanghai, was built as part of the re-development of parkland at the edge of People_s Park and around Peop

The Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall, documenting the changing face of Shanghai, was built as part of the re-development of parkland at the edge of People’s Park and around People’s Square in the 1990s and 2000s in Shanghai, China

 

Our favorite museum in Shanghai was the Urban Planning Exhibition Hall, located in a modernistic building in the heart of the central business district across from the Shanghai municipal government building.  Opened in 2000, the museum traces the development of the city from a swampy fishing village to the modern super-metropolis with a population of 24.5 million.  “The Exhibition Center was built as part of the re-development of parkland at the edge of People’s Park and around People’s Square in the 1990s and 2000s.  The Park and Square together occupy what was once the Shanghai racecourse, and today still make up one of the largest open spaces in central Shanghai.  The building was designed by architect Ling Benli of the East China Architecture Design & Research Institute (ECADI), as a harmonious balance to the Grand Theatre, another contemporary building at the other end of People’s Square.  The Exhibition Center is 43 metres (141 feet) high, has a white aluminum panel cladding and a symbolic membrane structure roof.” — Wikikpedia

 

The Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall, Shanghai, China, is 43 metres (141 feet) high, has a white aluminum panel cladding and a symbolic membrane structure roof

The Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall, Shanghai, China, is 43 metres (141 feet) high, has a white aluminum panel cladding and a symbolic membrane structure roof

 

This view of the scale model of the city shows the Bund on the western bank of the Huangpu River on the bottom of the photograph, with the new skyscrapers of the Pudong district across t

This view of the scale model of the city shows the Bund on the western bank of the Huangpu River on the bottom of the photograph, with the new skyscrapers of the Pudong district across the river, Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall, Shanghai, China

 

“One of Shanghai’s best and most visited museums, the Urban Planning Exhibition Hall at People’s Square documents the changing face of Shanghai and is an essential vising point for those interested in the evolution of the city.  A perfect scale model of the entire city on the 3rd floor model shows planned and recent developments of Shanghai.” – http://www.smartshanghai.com

 

Looking north in this view of the scale model of the city, the Bund is on the bank of the Huangpu River on the left (west) and the new Pudong skyscrapers are on the east bank, Shanghai U

Looking north in this view of the scale model of the city, the Bund is on the bank of the Huangpu River on the left (west) and the new Pudong skyscrapers are on the east bank, Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall, Shanghai, China; our ship was docked on the riverbank at the northern bank of the river at the top, center of the photograph

 

This view of the scale model of the city shows the density of high rise building in the central business district in the foreground; the Bund is on the riverbank at the center-left edge

This view of the scale model of the city shows the density of high rise building in the central business district in the foreground; the Bund is on the riverbank at the center-left edge of the photograph and the Pudong skyscrapers are on the right- top side; Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall, Shanghai, China

 

This view of the scale model of the city is from the opposite direction of the previous photographs, with the Bund in the center, on the upper side of the Huangpu River, and the new Pudo

This view of the scale model of the city is from the opposite direction of the previous photographs, with the Bund in the center, on the upper side of the Huangpu River, and the new Pudong district in the lower-left; Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall, Shanghai, China

 

This view of the scale model of the city has the Bund on the lower edge of the image with the central business district in the center and the greenery on the upper left is People_s Par

This view of the scale model of the city has the Bund on the lower edge of the image with the central business district in the center and the greenery on the upper left is People’s Park and People’s Square, home of the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall, Shanghai, China

 

A view of People_s Square from the top floor of the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall, Shanghai, China

A view of People’s Square from the top floor of the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall, Shanghai, China

 

This view of the scale model of the city focuses on People_s Square with the Shanghai Museum in the lower-center (just above the road outlined in yellow lights) and the Municipal Gover

This view of the scale model of the city focuses on People’s Square with the Shanghai Museum in the lower-center (just above the road outlined in yellow lights) and the Municipal Government Building in the center, flanked by the Grand Theatre on the left and the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall on the right; Shanghai, China

 

Shanghai Maglev Train, China

Almost “faster than a speeding bullet”, the Shanghai Maglev Train is a magnetic levitation train, or maglev, in Shanghai, China, that began commercial operation in 2004; we rode the

Almost “faster than a speeding bullet”, the Shanghai Maglev Train is a magnetic levitation train, or maglev, in Shanghai, China, that began commercial operation in 2004; we rode the train round trip from the east side of the Pudong district to the Shanghai International Airport

 

Advised that there were only certain hours of the day that the futuristic Shanghai Maglev Train operated at its fastest speed — round trip from the east side of the Pudong district to the Shanghai International Airport (9:00 – 10:45 a.m. and 3:00 to 4:45 p.m.) – we decided to venture out to the Pudong train station after a late lunch at the IFC Mall [see our previous blog post: “Pudong district, Shanghai, China”].  Our round trip to the Shanghai Airport and back was on a pretty empty train (overall ridership in the past has been estimated at only 20% “occupancy”) – visible in my photographs of sections of the train with no passengers at all.  The ride is extremely comfortable with virtually no vibration, low noise, and hardly any sense of traveling at airplane speeds while hovering (levitating) above the guideway (which functions like the train track for traditional wheel-on-rail trains) that guides the direction of the train’s movement and bears the load of the train.  The advertised maximum speed – achieved mid-way on each run – of 430 kilometers per hour (267.2 miles per hour) was slightly exceeded; on our trips the train maxed out at 431 kph (267.8 mph).  Interestingly, there were curved sections of track that were expertly banked and hardly noticeable in terms of motion.  Overall, an excellent, but short — 30.5 km (18.95 mi) – ride in each direction on an amazing piece of “technology”; it’s about a 7 minute ride in one direction.

The cost of the train is pretty reasonable by Western standards — about US$10 round trip (good for one week) in “economy”; for the locals, however, this is quite considerably higher than the ticket prices for the regular subway trains from either the central business district or the Pudong station.

If it weren’t for the high construction and operating costs, more maglev trains would be operating around the world.  Note that that technology for the Shanghai Maglev Train was developed in Germany (not China); see some technical notes at the bottom of this blog post from the Shanghai Maglev Train web site.  Even China decided a few years ago (after the Shanghai Maglev was in operation) to replace the originally planned maglev train to connect Shanghai to Beijing with a conventional, high-speed wheel-on-rail train.

 

The train cabin in the lead car of the Shanghai Maglev Train, houses a single train operator on the world_s fastest commercial high-speed train

The train cabin in the lead car of the Shanghai Maglev Train, houses a single train operator on the world’s fastest commercial high-speed train

 

“The Shanghai Maglev Train or Shanghai Transrapid (Chinese: 上海磁浮示范运营线) is a magnetic levitation train, or maglev line that operates in Shanghai, China.  The line was the third commercially operated magnetic levitation line to open in history.  It is the fastest commercial high-speed electric train in the world.  The train line was designed to connect Shanghai Pudong International Airport and the outskirts of central Pudong where passengers could interchange to the Shanghai Metro to continue their trip to the city center.  It cost $1.2 billion to build.  The line’s balance of payments has been in huge deficit since its opening.  From 2004 to 2006, Shanghai Maglev Transportation Development Co., Ltd, the company runs the line, had more than 1 billion RMB in losses.  The line is not a part of the Shanghai Metro network, which operates its own service to Pudong Airport from central Shanghai and from Longyang Road Station.” — Wikipedia

 

The Shanghai Maglev Train runs on a “guideway” (functioning like the train track for traditional wheel-on-rail trains) to guide the direction of the train_s movement and bear the l

The Shanghai Maglev Train runs on a “guideway” (functioning like the train track for traditional wheel-on-rail trains) to guide the direction of the train’s movement and bear the load of the train

 

The VIP seating section (“first class”) had larger seats than the regular seating sections, Shanghai Maglev Train, China; this looks much more like the interior of an aircraft cabin

The VIP seating section (“first class”) had larger seats than the regular seating sections, Shanghai Maglev Train, China; this looks much more like the interior of an aircraft cabin than a traditional wheel-on-rail train car

 

At 3-18 p.m. our train had hit its maximum speed, 431 kph (267.8 mph), which was very exciting because we couldn_t feel (in our seats) that we were flying by the landscape so quickly,

At 3:18 p.m. our train had hit its maximum speed, 431 kph (267.8 mph), which was very exciting because we couldn’t feel (in our seats) that we were flying by the landscape so quickly, other than seeing the nearby objects whiz by in a blur; Shanghai Maglev Train, China; also, note the curtains separating the two classes of riders – much like an airplane cabin

 

The regular seating sections of the Shanghai Maglev Train, had smaller seats and were less luxurious (no leather upholstery) than the VIP (“first class”) seats

The regular seating sections of the Shanghai Maglev Train, had smaller seats and were less luxurious (no leather upholstery) than the VIP (“first class”) seats

 

From the platform in Pudong, the Shanghai Maglev Train, China, doesn_t appear that different from a traditional wheel-on-rail train; note that what you can_t see is the lack of wheel

The regular seating sections of the Shanghai Maglev Train, had smaller seats and were less luxurious (no leather upholstery) than the VIP (“first class”) seats

 

Here are some technical and historic notes from the Shanghai Maglev Train company’s website:

“Development of German Maglev Transportation

“In 1922, Hermann Kemper put forward the principle of magnetic levitation levitation and received a patent for magnetic levitation technology-the first patent of the kind in the world in 1934.

“The Germans’ researches of maglev transportation in the real sense began in 1968.  Before then, no systematic research had been carried out because the level of technical and technological conditions remained rather low which limited its development to a large extent.

“In April, 1997, Germany decided to build 292km-long Transrapid route Berlin Hamburg.  It had been planned to start the construction in the second half of the year 1998 and to be put into commercial operation in 2005.  TR 08 vehicle had been developed specially for use in that line.  The vehicle was tested at TVE in October 1999.  However, the construction plan had to be cancelled in February 2000 because new forecast indicated that the construction of the new route might encounter the risk of suffering lossesl

“Sino German Construction of Maglev line in Cooperation

“In June, 2000, the city of Shanghai and Transrapid International agreed to jointly carry out a feasibility study on high speed Transrapid demonstration line in China.  In December, China decided to build a high-speed transrapid demonstration line in Shanghai from Metro Longyang Road station to Pudong International Airport.  The construction began in March 2001.

“On December 31, 2002, the Shanghai Maglev Line, after more than two years of designing, construction and commissioning by the experts of China and Germany, eventually came into view in the world.  The Chinese Prime Minister Zhu Rongji and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder were among the first guests in her maiden trip.  On board the world’s sole commercially-operated maglev train and looking through the windows at the road vehicles lagging far behind, they enjoyed the pleasure to them by the speed of 430km/h and nodded with smile.” – www.smtdc.com [the website of the Shanghai Maglev Transportation Development Co., Ltd.]

 

Pudong district, Shanghai, China

The Oriental Pearl TV Tower was the tallest building in Shanghai & China on its completion in 1994, Pudong, Shanghai, China; at 468 meters (1,536 feet) height, the tower today is the wor

The Oriental Pearl Radio & TV Tower was the tallest building in Shanghai and China on its completion in 1994, Pudong district, Shanghai, China; at 468 meters (1,536 feet) height, the tower today is the world’s third and China’s second tallest TV and radio tower

 

“Pudong (浦东 Pǔ dōng ) is Shanghai’s newest district on the eastern side of the Huangpu River, a Special Economic Zone chock full of gleaming skyscrapers.

“Oriental Pearl TV Tower, built in 1994, is the 3rd tallest tower in the world.  Featuring 11 garish pink balls enlightened by the famous Chinese poem (大珠小珠落玉盘Da Zhu Xiao Zhu Luo Yu Pan which describes the most beautiful sound when the pearls of different size fall on to a jade plate), the tower has become a symbol of the new Shanghai.  You can literally step into Shanghai’s skies on the glass floor of outdoor viewing platform of the 2nd ball at 259 meters [/ 850 feet].” – Wikipedia

 

As the third tower in the trio of signature skyscrapers at the heart of Shanghai_s new Lujiazui Finance and Trade Zone, Shanghai Tower, completed in 2015, stands 632 meters (2,073 feet

As the third tower in the trio of signature skyscrapers at the heart of Shanghai’s new Lujiazui Finance and Trade Zone, Shanghai Tower, completed in 2015, stands 632 meters (2,073 feet) high and is the tallest building in Shanghai and all of China as well as Asia and is the second tallest building in the world; Pudong district, Shanghai, China

 

Shanghai Tower, completed in 2015, stands 632 meters (2,073 feet) high and is the tallest building in Shanghai and all of China as well as Asia.  It is the second tallest building in the world, coming in behind the Burj Kalifa in Dubai.  The building is serviced by 108 passenger lifts, the fast three of which can send passengers up to the sightseeing platform at the 500 meter / 1,640 foot level within one minute, that is a world record holder.  “As the third tower in the trio of signature skyscrapers at the heart of Shanghai’s new Lujiazui Finance and Trade Zone, Shanghai Tower embodies a new prototype for tall buildings.  Placed in close proximity to Jin Mao Tower and Shanghai World Financial Center, the new tower rises high above the skyline, its curved façade and spiraling form symbolizing the dynamic emergence of modern China.  But its twisting form goes beyond just creating a unique appearance; wind tunnel tests confirm a 24 percent savings in structural wind loading when compared to a rectangular building of the same height.  More than a landmark, the mixed-use tower offers a sustainable way of living in a vertical city, with a unique mix of restaurants, shops, offices, and hotels spaced throughout the building.  The tower’s program is organized into nine vertical zones.  Each of these vertical neighborhoods rise from a sky lobby, a light-filled garden atrium that creates a sense of community and supports daily life with a varied program catering to tenants and visitors.  The sky lobbies function much like traditional town plazas and squares, bringing people together throughout the day.  These civic spaces recall the city’s historic open courtyards, which merge interiors with exteriors in a landscaped setting.  Shanghai Tower is one of the most sustainably advanced tall buildings in the world.  A central aspect of its design is the transparent second skin that wraps around the entire building.  The ventilated atriums it encloses conserve energy by modulating the temperature within the void.  The space acts as a buffer between the inside and outside, warming up the cool outside air in the winter and dissipating heat from the interior in the summer.  The tower also notably employs a tri-cogeneration system, a grey water/rainwater system, and several renewable energy sources.” – http://www.skyscrapercenter.com

 

This traffic circle in the heart of the Lujiazui fiancial trade zone in Pudong has a circular, elevated pedestrian overpass for easy access to each of the four streets at the intersectio

This traffic circle in the heart of the Lujiazui fiancial trade zone in Pudong has a circular, elevated pedestrian overpass for easy access to each of the four streets at the intersection, including the popular IFC Mall, Shanghai, China

 

Another view of the traffic circle near the IFC Mall with additional high rises visible, Pudong district, Shanghai, China

Another view of the traffic circle near the IFC Mall with additional high rises visible, Pudong district, Shanghai, China

 

“Shanghai IFC [International Finance Center] has a prime site in the heart of the Lujiazui fiancial trade zone [in Pudong, Shanghai] and is the product of noted architects and desingers.  The master design is by world-renowned Cesar Pelli and the shopping mall by Benoy Architects, who also did the IFC and APM in HongKong respectively.  The development will have a high-end mall of over a million square feet, grade-A offices in two towers and two hotels.  Cutting-edge architecture and construction quality will make Shanghai IFC an ultra-modern addition to the city.” – http://www.shanghaiifcmall.com.cn

 

The entrance to the IFC [International Finance Center] Mall, Pudong district, Shanghai, China; note the elegant glass tower entrance to the below ground Apple store

The entrance to the IFC [International Finance Center] Mall, Pudong district, Shanghai, China; note the elegant glass tower entrance to the below ground Apple store

Architectural icons of the late 20th and early 21st centuries- the Oriental Pearl Radio & TV Tower and the Pudong Apple retail store, Pudong district, Shanghai, China

Architectural icons of the late 20th and early 21st centuries: the Oriental Pearl Radio & TV Tower and the Pudong Apple retail store, Pudong district, Shanghai, China

 

The interior of the contemporary IFC Mall where we had lunch in an excellent dim sum restaurant – one of many options for dining in the mall; Pudong district, Shanghai, China

The interior of the contemporary IFC Mall where we had lunch in an excellent dim sum restaurant – one of many options for dining in the mall; Pudong district, Shanghai, China

 

Perhaps one of the best ways to understand how an area like Pudong could spring into existence in a mere 25 years, with more significant investment and development to follow in the next decades, is to look at the Chinese government web site: “Pudong stands on a new starting point of development and embraces historic opportunities after the establishment of China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone.  It will have “strong motivation, bold innovation, rational process and inclusive mentality”, prioritize the quality of development, streamlining of institutions, upgrade of functions, and balanced development, push forward second-round development, and reach new height.  By 2020, Pudong New Area will become a forerunner of scientific development, a core functional area of Shanghai’s “Four-Centers Initiatives”, a pilot area of comprehensive reforms and a an open area of harmonious ecology.  By then, it will truly become a forward-looking modern urban area with multiple functions.  [The vision and targets section then lists four focus areas for development from 2014 to 2020: economic goals (faster than Shanghai’s average), core functions (including taking the lead in financial innovation and trial programs), urban operation (see below) and living standard.]

“Urban Operation: Great efforts are made to promote the modernization of urban infrastructure, such as pushing forward the construction of Shanghai Eastern Transport Hub of Pudong International Airport and the phase 4 project of Yangshan Deep-water Port.  The construction of rail transport system will be advanced with 100 km new track being extended.  The project of “Smart Pudong” will see the full coverage of 100 Mbps home broadband and wireless hotspots in public areas.  New generation of information technology such as the Internet of Things and Cloud Computing will be encouraged to develop and commercialized.  In order to make Pudong a national ecological zone, endeavors will be made to carry out projects of river dredging and the construction of sewage treatment plants and collection pipe network, lifting the urban sewage treatment rate to 85% plus.  More efforts will be made to enhance product quality and the supervision over food and drug safety.” – http://www.english.pudong.gov.cn

 

One last glimpse of the Oriental Pearl Radio & TV Tower as we left the pedestrian overpass by the IFC Mall, Pudong district, Shanghai, China

One last glimpse of the Oriental Pearl Radio & TV Tower as we left the pedestrian overpass by the IFC Mall, Pudong district, Shanghai, China

 

 

Shanghai Skyline, China

This panorama of the Pudong district, Shanghai, China, includes the second tallest building in the world (center), the Shanghai Tower, standing at 632 meters - 2,073 feet and Dōngfān

This panorama of the Pudong district, Shanghai, China, includes the second tallest building in the world (center), the Shanghai Tower, standing at 632 meters / 2,073 feet and Dōngfāng Mingzhūta (the Oriental Pearl Radio & TV Tower) on the right, the tallest television tower in Asia at 468 meters / 1,535 feet (built from 1991 to 1994; from then until 2007, it was the tallest building in Shanghai and China)

 

Dynamic, fascinating, cacophonous, futuristic… Shanghai, China’s largest city continues its ceaseless metamorphosis at a dizzying pace.  Historic Art Deco architecture along The Bund is reflected in sleek, ultramodern office towers in the recently developed Pudong District across the Huangpu River.  Beginning in 1994 Shanghai had the tallest building in China (the Oriental Pearl Radio & TV Tower) and since 2015 the Shanghai Tower took that title.  That latest addition to Pudong’s skyline is the world’s second tallest building by height to the architectural top, after the Burj Khalifa in Dubai – but it is the world’s tallest building by height to the tallest floor.  A wide range of museums in Shanghai feature everything from historic artifacts to contemporary art, science and technology, even eyeglasses and tobacco.  Gastronomes can feast on a palate-pleasing selection of international dishes and Chinese cuisine — hairy crab, dim sum and braised meats marinated in Shaoxing wine are among the local specialties.

 

The Pudong district across the Huangpu River from the Bund (Central Business District) of Shanghai, China, was a marsh until development started twenty-five years ago; yes, all these bui

The Pudong district across the Huangpu River from the Bund (Central Business District) of Shanghai, China, was a marsh until development started twenty-five years ago; yes, all these buildings are modern in design and age!

 

These two Chinese Navy ships took our pier spot, so we were docked behind them near the Shanghai Port International Passenger Terminal, Shanghai, China; the view is towards the Bund whic

These two Chinese Navy ships took our pier spot, so we were docked behind them near the Shanghai Port International Passenger Terminal, Shanghai, China; the view is towards the Bund which begins with the triangular monument on the upper left and “bends” around to the left beyond the photograph [see our upcoming blog post on a walk along the Bund]

This view of the Pudong district with the Shanghai Tower, center, and the Oriental Pearl Radio & TV Tower on the right, was taken from the top deck of our ship while we were docked in Sh

This view of the Pudong district with the Shanghai Tower, center, and the Oriental Pearl Radio & TV Tower on the right, was taken from the top deck of our ship while we were docked in Shanghai, China

 

A view of the Huangpu River looking towards the east, where it meets the sea, Shanghai, China; the Bund is about 1.5 kilometers -1 mile in the opposite direction

A view of the Huangpu River looking towards the east, where it meets the sea, Shanghai, China; the Bund is about 1.5 kilometers /1 mile in the opposite direction behind our ship