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18-month plan aims to bring back beauty to the Bund
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14:35, May 29, 2008

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The Bund is to be given a facelift to make it more pedestrian-friendly, the city's urban planning bureau said yesterday.

The 18-month redevelopment plan, which will start at the end of the year, will restore the Bund's neoclassical landscape by reducing the size of the road and creating more space for parks, walkways and viewing platforms, bureau director Mao Jialiang said.

The amount of space for pedestrians will double, while the road will be narrowed from 10 lanes to four, as it was 15 years ago. The road will be closed to most vehicles, except buses and those picking up or setting down. All through traffic will be redirected underground.

The new-look Bund will also feature more parks and squares for public events, and extra viewing platforms from which tourists will be able to enjoy uninterrupted views of the Huangpu River and its classical skyline, Mao said.

Facilities such as car parks, toilets and shops will also be moved underground, he said.

"We will not add any commercial facilities."

Existing trees and plants will be retained, as long as they do not obstruct the view, while new landscaping, including sculptures, will be added, he said.

"The plan aims to restore the Bund's historical and cultural characteristics, improve its environment, maximize public space and promote the waterfront," Mao said.

Zheng Shiling, vice-president of the Architectural Society of China and member of the project's consulting team, said the renovation demonstrates the government's forward thinking on urban development.

"In the early 1990s, when the city's economy started to boom, the government focused on building wide roads and easing traffic," he said.

In 1993, public space around the Bund was reduced and the main road was widened to 10 lanes. A flyover, which was demolished this year, was also built to link highways.

"But now, with Shanghai leading the way in urban development, the government is thinking about how to preserve its historical and cultural treasures, Zheng said.

Mao said the planning bureau is keen to hear the public's ideas on the scheme. A suggestion box can be found near a model of the new-look Bund at the Shanghai Urban Planning Museum, and people can also leave comments at the bureau's website, he said.

Source: China Daily

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