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Twin towers at Bund stir debate

(Global Times)

08:46, September 13, 2011

An empty crane sits on the site of the lot where the twin towers are slated to be developed along the Bund Monday. Photo: Cai Xianmin/GT

A design of 39-storey twin towers along the Bund in Shanghai, three times higher than nearby historic buildings, are garnering a lot of negative feedback from local residents while urban planners assert that the new additions are needed to boost the city's development.

Despite local land and resource authorities opening the project – on Plot 8-1 at the junction of Dongmen Road and Zhongshan Road East – slated for development by Shanghai-based Zendai Group – to public opinion, critics doubt their concerns will prevent the modern works from going up.

Local resident Wang Lei said that she and others worry about the 180-meter skyscrapers – designed to cover an area of 450,000 square meters for commercial purposes along the city's most popular landmark – wiping out decades-old streets and leaving important historical heritages behind.

"The style of these skyscrapers stick out like a sore thumb compared with the Baroque and Gothic styles of the existing historic buildings here and those at nearby Yuyuan Garden," she told the Global Times Monday. "These buildings would be a better fit for Lujiazui."

Striking a balance between old and new is a constant headache for development along the Bund, which saw similar controversies with another commercial development project in July. Due to outcry from the public, city planners are still discussing whether the 31-storey building should be down-scaled to better suit the makeup of the area.

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