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November 23, 2012

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Stories of Shanghai streets compiled

CITY officials are doing profiles on 64 roads and streets with historic significance, and will publish books about them. It's part of an effort to preserve the city's cultural and historic flavor amid rapid urban change.

Shanghai Urban Construction Archives said it's doing research on the protected roads and streets, like Zhongshan Road E1, Hengshan Road and Shanyin Road, and the historic buildings and anecdotes along the roads.

The protected roads, along which building and real estate development, is strictly controlled, are also dubbed the "never-widen streets."

Yu Sijia, chief engineer with city urban planning administration, said the roads will never be expanded and that "the building structures and trees along them will be protected."

The roads are among city's total of 144 protected roads, stretching more than 100 kilometers, that encompass different cultural styles that trace the city's growth.

The archives will compile maps and historical files concerning the streets.

The first street on the list is Zhongshan Road E1, near the Bund. The current long promenade at the Bund used to be a road paved by coal wastes, slag and pebbles. The blueprints showing the development of such roads are preserved and will be included in the books.

"The roads are the showcase of architectural culture in the city's development," said Xu Lixun, an official with the urban construction archives. "There may be some stories seldom or never told in history books."

The whole project may take years to complete, officials said.


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