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August 3, 2020

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Xuhui’s ambitious plan for West Bund

Xuhui District is developing an ambitious plan to make the West Bund a leisure area, fenceless museum, a financial center, and an innovation incubator.

Over the past 10 years the 11.4-kilometer Huangpu River waterfront of Xuhui has been transformed from a backwater dotted with walled-off factories to a rendezvous adorned with art venues.

The 8.95km section of the West Bund has opened to the public, with 500,000 square meters of public spaces for jogging, biking and walking dogs.

The area reflects local industrial heritage, once home to the city’s earliest iron, coal, grain and oil industries. The former coal wharf, cement factory and giant fuel tanks have been converted into popular cultural venues such as the Long Museum, West Bund Art Center and Tank Shanghai art park.

The West Bund Museum has signed a five-year cooperation pact with the Pompidou Center in Paris, home to Europe’s biggest collection of modern art.

Also, last year, the West Bund held the first Shanghai International Artwork Trading Month. It built a complete industrial chain and created trades in artwork worth more than 10 million yuan (US$1.43 million).

“Here, you can enjoy beautiful greenery and river views on any walking path,” said Bao Bingzhang, Party secretary of Xuhui. “Also, century-old industrial structures have been granted a new lease of life.”

Now, construction of another 200,000-square-meter of art facilities and 600,000-square-meter of commerce facilities is well under way. By the end of this year, 20 pavilions will be built on the waterfront.

It is part of the district’s West Bund Service Space project, a unified platform of public service systems combining the service of the Party, voluntary service, and convenience.

“It will be a professional brand with unified image and operation,” said Chen Anda, general manager assistant of Shanghai West Bund Development (Group) Co. “We hope it can service the entire community of people living and working in the West Bund.”

The West Bund is also creating an innovation ecosystem, backed by artificial intelligence, life sciences, media and art, and technology and finance.

One highlight is the AI Tower, part of the area’s blueprint to build an “Intelligence Valley.”

With a total building scale of 500,000 square meters, it will be constructed as an AI development platform, integrating office headquarters, international communications, demonstration applications, display experiences, incubation and transformations.

Shanghai Qi Zhi Institute, Huawei Kunpeng Industrial Ecological Innovation Center, and many other influential AI innovative enterprises and institutions have signed up.

Xuhui now accounts for one fifth of the city’s major AI firms and generates one third of the city’s AI industry output.


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