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July 22, 2011

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Home » Metro » Public Services

Bund plan input sought

Shanghai's urban planning authority yesterday began soliciting public opinion on the plan for a modern high-rise complex on the historic Bund after the plan caused outrage among local residents.

Construction has begun on the underground part of the complex on Zhongshan Road E2, but people can weigh in on how to improve the building designs, an official with the Shanghai Municipal Bureau of Planning and Land Resources said yesterday.

SOHO China, developer of the complex, also said on that it was willing to listen to suggestions from experts and citizens to improve the design.

"It is a good thing that our project has made so many people concerned about Shanghai's urban planning," the Beijing-based real estate developer said on its official microblog.

The complex, due to be completed in 2014, features four tall office buildings and two shorter buildings for commercial use with heights ranging from 136 meters to 21.5 meters, the planning bureau said on its website. Detailed plans will be publicized on both the bureau's website and at the construction site until Sunday, the bureau said. People can e-mail their advice to by July 31.

An artist's rendition posted by the developer last Friday has been re-tweeted more than 1,000 times and received 400 comments, mostly criticism.

Local citizens dubbed the tallest tower, at 31 stories, and a nearby 16-story building the "harmonica-like buildings" that would mar the landscape of the city's iconic Bund. The area features more than 50 buildings of various architectural styles such as Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque, most of which were built in the 1930s.

A Shanghai Daily survey of readers on its website found 70 percent of respondents agreed that the construction should be stopped to preserve the historical look of the Bund, while only 10 percent said the plan "looks fine" and another 9 percent said the buildings' height should be lowered.

"I have no suggestion on the design of the buildings, but think the buildings should not be built there at all," said Wang Shuren, a white-collar worker who has worked near the Bund for three years.

Zheng Shiling, director of the Institute of Architecture and Urban Space of Shanghai at Tongji University, suggested making the buildings shorter and changing the gold color to make them more harmonious with other Bund buildings.

"It is quite difficult to make any big changes on the plan because the construction has begun," Zheng said.

SOHO spent 2.25 billion yuan (US$348 million) to buy the 22,462 square meters of land in June 2010.


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