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Looking forward to further success

AS Fengxian celebrates the 10th anniversary of becoming a district, Tan Weiyun looks at how the former county continues to evolve as it positions itself to become a green home for families.

From a remote, backward coastal place to an emerging destination to work and live, Shanghai's Fengxian District has grown into an eco-green home for more than 1.8 million people during the past decade.

This August witnesses the 10th anniversary of the foundation of Fengxian, which was upgraded from a county to a district 10 years ago.

"It has been a decade of full-speed development, of both challenges and opportunities," government spokesman Yuan Xiaolin says.

On the southeastern tip of the Yangtze River with the Huangpu River to the north and Hangzhou Bay to the south, the district boasts a 13.7-kilometer riverbank and a 31.6km coastline.

With abundant crisscrossing canals and a beautiful seashore, the district has pinned down future plans to develop into a coastal residential community featuring a high-tech marine industry and beach entertainment.

Nanqiao New City

Nanqiao New City in Nanqiao Town is striving to become an environmentally economic hub on the north shore of Hangzhou Bay. According to the blueprint, the 71.39-square-kilometer new city will be home to up to 1 million people by 2020. It will contain integrated public facilities and a 4.8-square-kilometer green space and forest park in the heart of the city.

A low-carbon lifestyle, energy saving and ecological sustainability will be the basic concepts of the new city.

With the 2.3-square-kilometer forest park at its core, the green belt will surround the city, including the old town, industrial zone and southern areas.

It will be linked with the district's ponds, rivers and canals that flow into the Punan Canal and Jinhui Port.

Within 10 years, a non-toxic processing system for daily waste will be created, while the educational, commercial and medical infrastructure will have 100 percent coverage.

Seen from above, Nanqiao New City will look like a golden fish along the winding coastline, where beach resorts, office towers, a theme park, a conference center and a marina are planned.

Nanqiao New City will focus on developing the modern service industry, new energy and new material research and development, bio-medical work, outsourcing, real estate and tourism.

It is also expected to be a vital transit hub in the southern Yangtze River Delta region and an important portal into greater Pudong.

With the opening of the Hangzhou-Pudong Expressway and the Hangzhou Bay Bridge, Nanqiao New City will be a front gate to the cities in Zhejiang Province, enhancing information, economic and cultural exchanges.

Building roads

As a Chinese saying goes, build roads before you build wealth. Convenient transport is the key to the district's development.

Fengxian has often been regarded as a remote, half-hidden place far away from Shanghai's downtown area, but with the construction of new transport infrastructure, the district will be better connected than ever before.

During the past 10 years, the district's road construction has greatly improved. So far the total length of roads in Fengxian has reached 1,283km, including expressways, provincial roads, county roads, village roads, the Minpu and Fengpu bridges that span the Huangpu River.

The Minpu Bridge, just completed late last year, is a double-deck cable-stayed bridge with the country's longest span.

The double decks are for Metro trains and cars. People living on the two riverbanks no longer need to take a ferry to cross the Huangpu River.

At the end of the bridge, the extension of Metro Line 5 is in full swing, which is designed to connect Nanqiao New City with Xinzhuang Town, Shanghai's southwestern traffic transit hub in Minhang District. Officials are considering whether to launch a feasibility study on constructing a southbound extension of another subway line.

Meanwhile the planned Hongmei Road S.-Jinhai Road Tunnel, Kunyang Road Tunnel and the S3 Highway will shorten the distance to downtown areas.

By the end of 2020, the average travel time from Nanqiao New City to downtown Shanghai will be reduced to 45 minutes.

Economic growth

More convenient transportation brings opportunities to the district.

Its economic growth has sped up during the past decade.

About 250 enterprises, each with a 100-million-yuan (US$15.63 million) output value, have settled down in the district. Fifteen of the world's top 500 companies and three regional headquarters are based in Fengxian.

It is also home to small- and medium-sized enterprises, especially those privately owned. During the past 10 years, the local government has launched a series of preferential policies to help SMEs survive and thrive.

SMEs contribute significantly to Fengxian's economic development as they bring in more than 95 percent of the district's tax revenue, according to the district government.

Meanwhile, Fengxian has also become a destination for urban dwellers to cool down during the hot summer. Its Blue Water & Golden Sand Beach Paradise is the largest artificial beach in China with an area of 3.7 square kilometers, which was reclaimed from the sea.

In addition, the district boasts a total of 26 intangible cultural heritages such as the local opera, the folk songs, the rolling lamp, paper cutting, shadow plays and much more.


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