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March 20, 2012

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North Bund mandates people-friendly zone

NEWLY erected buildings in the city's North Bund area will be connected by pedestrian overpasses after the emerging shipping business hub drew a lesson from the pedestrian-unfriendly Lujiazui area.

The North Bund area now requires new office buildings to connect with each other at the third floor to divert pedestrians from the busy ground vehicle traffic.

Moreover, all the new buildings must provide restaurants and stores open to the public from the first to the third floors to prevent a shortage of services to the white-collar workers in the financial zone.

The North Bund business zone will provide supporting commercial facilities of up to 300,000 square meters, including restaurants, cafes and shops, officials disclosed at the North Bund Fortune and Culture Forum yesterday.

The size of the commercial facilities in the North Bund area will be close to that of the Xujiahui business area, official said.

"With the clustering of financial institutions, the North Bund will emerge as the third pillar for the city's development into a financial hub along with the old Bund and the Lujiazui area," Shanghai Vice Mayor Tu Guangshao said at the forum.

Hongkou District, where the North Bund is located, attracted 45 financial institutions last year, mainly because of the North Bund. The district plans to improve its public services to attract more financial companies to move into the area.

A 2.6-kilometer-long waterfront promenade will be built along the Huangpu River and be open to the public for sightseeing. It will include eight to nine waterfront restaurants.

Construction of a 30,000-square-meter underground shopping mall in the area has been finished and will open to the public soon.

Metro Line 12 now under construction will pass the area with two stations - the Tilanqiao station and the International Cruise Terminal station.

The skyline and illumination of the buildings in the North Bund area will be designed to achieve a harmonious effect, officials said.

Office workers in Lujiazui have long complained about the difficulty of finding a place to eat or having to walk long distances between office buildings.

So the administrator started to build overhead walkways in 2008 and underpasses in 2011. Meanwhile, it started to add commercial facilities including restaurants and bars in 2010 to make up for the shortage.


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