The story appears on

Page A4

October 17, 2022

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » District » Putuo

Former industrial town now a smart city

TAOPU Town in Shanghai’s northwest Putuo District has been evolving over the last decade from a heavily polluted industrial zone into a smart city, featuring high-tech global firms with an ideal ecological environment.

The Taopu Smart City is rising on the area known as the last remaining piece of land available for an overall redevelopment in Shanghai’s downtown area.

Since the industrial transformation was launched on the former industrial land in 2012, Taopu has attracted some 200 key companies in its core area, mainly in life health, intelligent manufacturing and digital supply chain.

The district-level tax revenue has jumped by 44.6 percent to 1.5 billion yuan (US$208.8 million) in 2021 from a decade ago. Some 170,000 companies from home and abroad with total investments of 96.3 billion yuan have been attracted to the brand-new office parks mushrooming across the town.

As of 2021, 10 companies in Taopu have made annual tax revenue of more than 100 million yuan. The China-Israel Innovation Hub, the most highlighted project in the smart city, has attracted more than 90 companies and institutes mainly from China and Israel.

The Future Island High-tech Park, which was initiated in 1999 as one of the city’s earliest high-tech parks, has been labeled as an honored brand and demonstration park of Shanghai.

Eight multinational headquarters, such as automobile maker Alto and eatery brand Bisheng, are developing rapidly in Taopu, along with leading domestic firms like Alibaba Digital Agriculture, cyber security giant 360 and construction company Oriental Yuhong.

“Taopu is an exceptional ‘dress material’ with large size, great location and mature development condition,” said Jiang Dongdong, Party secretary of Putuo District.

A host of office buildings in Putuo generated more than 100 million yuan in annual tax revenue last year, despite the COVID-19 resurgence.

“Taopu is striving to become a downtown pilot zone for industrial transformation and upgrading as well as an international smart city which is comfortable to live and work,” Jiang said.

As the most eye-catching project in Taopu, the China-Israel Innovation Hub has become a milestone in scientific cooperation between the two countries.

The hub established in December 2019 is a major step in Shanghai’s implementation of a national strategy to promote Chinese and Israeli scientific technological innovation.

Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan signed the China-Israel Innovation Cooperation Action Plan (2018-2021) during a visit to Israel in October 2018, which facilitated the founding of the hub in Shanghai.

In January 2022, Wang signed the updated version of the action plan with Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, which raised new requirements for the hub’s future development.

According to the blueprint, the hub is expected to make Putuo’s Taopu area on par with Zhangjiang Technology City in the Pudong New Area as a key center for the development of Shanghai as a technology and innovation center.

Leading Israeli incubators, such as Ehealth and Trendlines, which focus on medical and agri-food technology, have been operating in the hub to serve Israeli high-tech and start-up firms.

Despite the COVID-19 outbreak shortly after its opening, the hub now boasts nearly 90 companies and research institutes from both countries. More than 270 intellectual properties have been created in the park.

Nanobebe, a wholly-owned subsidiary of an Israeli brand, plans to bring high-tech maternal and infant feeding products to the Chinese market.

Malton Industry, a new materials developer, aims to replace all plastic products being used in the cabins of passenger planes with its biodegradable substitutes by 2030.

Mantis Vision has established its wholly subsidiary in China and cooperated with domestic companies such as Xiaomi, Baidu, Ant Finance and SF Courier. It plans to take part in the 5G development by collaborating with major communication carriers, such as China Mobile and China Unicom, the company said.

China’s online security giant 360 has also set up its International Digital Security Innovation and Ecological Operation Center at the hub.

With the center, 360 aims to attract a group of top Internet security companies and professionals, an official with the tech firm said. An international summit on the online security has been planned to invite representatives of international organizations and top industrial experts to share outlooks on the industry.

The blueprint reveals the innovation hub is being developed in three phases.

The first phase of the hub has been completed on the former site of Shanghai’s Hero pen factory, which dates back to the 1930s. It offers 1,500 square meters of exhibition space and a service center, and another 1,500 square meters of support facilities and 4,500 square meters of office space.

The second phase is being expanded to the Top Plaza. It will feature about 50,000 square meters of office buildings and more than 10,000 square meters of apartments.

The hub can be further expanded at other smart city sites based on demand, according to the district government.

The land, full of technological breakthroughs and scientific innovations today, had a total different appearance back in the 1990s, when Taopu was among the first chemical industrial parks in Shanghai.

Set up in 1954, its development of industrial enterprises was at its peak in the 1980s when Hero pens and locally produced perfumes and medicines became popular in the city.

Many famous state-owned companies, such as the Hero, Shanghai Rubber Factory, Shanghai No. 1 TCM Factory and Shanghai Spice Factory, were born in Taopu. The decades of industrial construction spurred the rapid economic development of the town.

Industrial transformation

In the early 1990s, the first round of industrial transformation of Taopu was launched. Many urban industrial parks popped up along with some 30 large parking garages, more than 1,000 logistic firms and 500 warehouses. Such low-end industrial structure had polluted the air and land environment.

Its latest transformation was initiated in 2012 which looked to an intelligent smart city.

The district government launched the Taopu scientific and innovation zone to replace high polluters — and give a major facelift to the industrial region.

The smart city, covering 4.2 square kilometers in the core area, has gathered companies working on Internet technology, intelligent science and entrepreneurship to create a “scientific and innovation center with global influence.”

To achieve the goal, the government has relocated factories, recovered land and cleaned the soil that had been contaminated by its former occupants.

As the key ecological project at the heart of the smart city, the initial phase of the Taopu Greenbelt, known as Shanghai’s largest downtown public greenbelt, has opened. It features natural landscapes and its industrial heritage.

The greenbelt, to cover a total of 500,000 square meters, is being built on the former site of China’s earliest industrial plants.

The design of the green area is inspired by Hyde Park in London and Central Park in New York. The park themed “Floating Clouds and Water” will incorporate traditional Chinese cultural ideas such as painting, calligraphy, dance and tai chi.

Standing on the top of an artificial hill of the greenbelt, dubbed the “second tallest mountain” in western downtown, visitors can see the former site of the city’s once popular Peony ink factory, a soap factory, a paint plant and the famous White Elephant battery factory.

Industrial heritage has been preserved. The city’s earliest rubber plant on Dunhuang Road, for example, will be converted into a visitor center for the site. A statue of Chairman Mao Zedong at the former factory has been preserved.

Visitors can also find some historical sites on or near the greenbelt. Not far from the initial phase of the project, a Hanta Pagoda, originating in the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279), has been well-preserved.

It is said General Han Shizhong (1090-1151), who devoted his life to fighting invaders, once trained soldiers beside the pagoda.

As a highlight, the greenbelt features a water system that can purify contaminated land automatically. About 650,000 cubic meters of soil and 160,000 cubic meters of groundwater in the area have been cleaned, more than half of the total task.

Meanwhile, the smart city has scooped Shanghai’s “three-star ecological district” title for its energy-saving designs and being environmentally friendly.

Buildings constructed under the three-star-rated criteria consume about one-fourth less energy than those built in the traditional way.

Cultural events also prosper in the Taopu Smart City.

An Israeli technology and culture salon has been unveiled at the China-Israel Innovation Hub to better serve entrepreneurs and employees. The salon includes an exhibition hall along with art experience, interactivity and recreational space.

“One Day in Israel,” organized by the Consulate General of Israel in Shanghai and the innovation hub, was aimed at offering local residents interested in the West Asian country an opportunity to “explore and experience its culture without going all way to the country.”

Featuring 20 workshops and 35 interactive activities, the event covered music, food, dancing, movies, arts and design, among others, to showcase the culture, traditions and creativity of Israel.

The smart city along with the parks and cultural events is expected to help Taopu, literally “peach river,” once an agricultural village featuring a small creek and peach trees on both sides, return to its idyllic and prosperous state, according to Putuo District government.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend