by Toffler



The Evolving City of Shanghai

December 17, 2006, by TofflerN, category Knowledge and Experiences, Uncategorized

Changes are certainly afoot in Shanghai. The neighborhood I live in, Xujiahui will soon be one of the crosshairs of local transportation in Shanghai. Already subway Line 1 goes through Xujiahui but they are planning to have 1 or 2 more lines also go through the same location. I don’t follow the development closely because I rarely take the subway from Xujiahui since it is a 20min walk from my house and I find buses and the occasional taxi to be much more convenient.

However, during the summer, when Irene and Jeni were still in Shanghai we spent a lot of time eating, shopping, and wandering around the shopping malls at the Xujiahui intersection, so I came to know the area pretty well. We often ate at restaurants in Grand Gateway or Metro City. After they left, I mostly stopped going there because it was no longer very convenient for me or for meeting friends.

Then one day I decided to go down there and eat lunch. Was I in for a surprise! In less than 6 weeks since we’d eaten at the Korean restaurant behind Grand Gateway, that whole strip of restaurants was GONE! That explains why all the restaurants were duplicated, both inside Grand Gateway and outside behind it: all of the outside ones were slated for destruction.

They had to be torn down to make room for the new subway lines going in. Although it’ll still be a while before the subway lines are open and connected, its obvious that progress is being made. Maybe with so many transportation connections at that intersection it will bring my friends closer to me or maybe it will be more convenient for me to use the subway.

Also since moving into my apartment in July, I’ve seen buildings go from skeleton structures to fully completed buildings, with occupants ranging from homeowners to Starbucks Coffee. It’s really quite amazing and interesting to see all the changes, both constructive and destructive going on around me.

Shanghai is definitely an evolving city. Before I moved here, I heard from people like Brenda and my Chinese teacher who go overseas for study that if they only get back to Shanghai once per 6 months or once per year, it can be difficult for them to recognize the city because it changes so fast. Now I know what they’re talking about. With mall developers buying places like the XiangYang market and tearing it down, leaving shoppers and sellers in the lurch, it can be difficult if not impossible for travel books to keep up with the changes. If someone has an LP book, even the new China one, it will still send s/he to XiangYang market, which no longer exists. Therefore, to get updated info on Shanghai, travelers really need an inside connection or need to read the Internet to find the most recent information on location changes and openings and closings.

If you’re a resident of or a frequent visitor to Shanghai, I encourage you to be observant of the changes going on in the city and welcome you to be astounded at their rapid pace.

So, what do you think ?