Shanghai's reopened urban planning center draws full house


Shanghai's landmark urban planning exhibition hall reopened to the public for free on Tuesday after a nearly two-year renovation.

The Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center on People's Avenue in downtown Huangpu District has incorporated new technologies, such as virtual reality, augmented reality, 8K high-definition screens as well as the world's largest five-dimensional digital map to showcase the city's past, present and future development.

It is open for free between 9am and 5pm every day, except Wednesdays. Visitors must make online reservations and have a negative polymerase chain reaction test result from within the previous 72 hours.

All the 500 quotas for the first day were reserved immediately after the center announced the reopening on its official WeChat account.

"I think it is the best place for children to learn about the city's history and future," said Pan Hong'an, a local retiree who took his grandson to the center at around 10am on Tuesday.

"The new exhibition includes many high-tech facilities which well represent Shanghai's status as a scientific innovation hub."

The center closed on December 1, 2019, for its biggest facelift since the venue was inaugurated in February 2000.

During its over two decades of operation, the center received a total of 7.2 million visitors, including 60 percent from overseas. Many foreign tourists took the center as the first stop of their Shanghai visit, according to the center.

It is the first exhibition center in China dedicated to urban planning and construction achievements.

The center was scheduled to reopen in March, but that was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic resurgence.

The new exhibition center mainly introduces the city's 2035 master plan in several themed exhibitions such as "humanistic," "innovation" and "ecological."

Miniature models replicate the features of the city's typical shikumen, or stone-gate residences, as well as popular watertowns such as Zhujiajiao in suburban Qingpu District.

Shanghai's latest digital transformation strategy and smart digital applications are also on display with some interactive installations.

A section has been designated for professionals to check the world's latest urban planning information and details of Shanghai's previous master plans.

More than 500 photographs, 90 videos and 40 models are on display in some 30 exhibitions, which will be updated frequently to include the city's latest urban planning features.

A section on the ground floor will host temporary art exhibitions related to urban studies.

Currently, the inaugural exhibition – Beijing-Shanghai Urban Culture Image Studies – is on through September 10.

More than 40 photos taken by 30 architects and urban planners in the two cities address many key urban development problems, such as the convergence of urban styles and lack of characteristics, according to the organizer of the exhibition.

Source: SHINE

Editor: Yang Meiping

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