Shanghai itself, the Pudong Mew Area is on the
eastern bank of HuangpuRiver. Before 1990â€”when development
plans were first announcedâ€”Pudong constituted 350 sq km of boggy farmland
supplying vegetables to Shanghaiâ€™s markets. Now the veggies are grown
elsewhere as Pudong has become a Special Economic Zone (SEZ).
Shanghaiâ€™s second metro line opened at the end of 1999 and connects Pudong
with Puxi. The Waigaoqiao harbor area is being upgraded into a major container
port and the US$ billion Pudong International Airport opened as the main
international airport in late 1999.
Nanjing Road Pedestrain Street
from the Peace to the Park hotels, has long seen China's golden
mile, though its glamour has slipped a few notches in the last 15 years. Hoping
to bring back its former glory, the city began a massive renovation project in
the late 1990s, turning Nanjing Lu into a pedestrian-only shopping extravaganza
from Xizang Lu to Henna Lu.
becomes Nanjing Xilu at Renmin Gongyuan (People â€˜s Park ). The park and the
adjacent Peopleâ€™s Square were once the site of the Shanghai Racecourse, mow
occupied by the ShanghaiMuseum, the Shanghai Grand Theatre, the
Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall and the rather drab municipal government
building. Nanjing Xilu itself was previously Bubbling Well Rd, the natural spring having
been long sealed over.
The crowds are
less intense as you head west along Nanjing Xilu, past the former Shanghai Race
Club and previous site of the Shanghai Library, now the ShanghaiArtGallery. Beyond the Chengdu Lu Expressway,
which cuts down the centre of Shanghai, Nanjing Xilu gives way to office
blocks and more shops and hotels, all of which join forces in the impressive
Shanghai Centre and Soviet-era Shanghai Exhibition Centre opposite.