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December 6, 2010

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Plans to improve riverside facilities

PEOPLE will be able to tour along both banks of the Huangpu River on foot or by bicycle as urban planners aim to further develop sightseeing facilities and traffic routes along the Huangpu River.

The urban planner and the Huangpu River bank development office announced that one of their targets over the next five years will be to further boost tourism on the river by constructing more public sightseeing spaces and upgrading support facilities.

By the end of 2015, a traffic system composed of inter-connected roads, bicycle lanes, and promenades will be completed on both sides of the river.

Tourists walking along the river will also have more docks where they can board sightseeing ships.

There are currently no convenient bike lanes along the river, though a bike tour is often very appealing to urban sightseers. The central Bund area has developed a promenade which has attracted large crowds since the Bund reopened this March.

It was also renovated with the addition of a multi-level underground car lanes. The majority of traffic has been diverted to the underground tunnel to give more space to pedestrians.

More tourist walkways and platforms will be constructed on the southern bank of the Huangpu River and will also be connected to the current promenades on the Bund.

Authorities will also plant more grass, trees and flowers around riverside public spaces.

To promote local cruise trips, the government plans to support the development of new river cruise routes in the future.

The industry operators will receive incentives to extend the length of their sightseeing tours, sailing tourists not only along the Huangpu River, but also to nearby islands and onto further stretches of the Yangtze River, announced the urban planner.

Suzhou Creek, Shanghai's second longest river and a tributary of the Huangpu River, will also continue to be renovated to make it cleaner and more tourist-friendly.

The once-heavily polluted creek now has better quality water and recently opened cruise tours to tourists.

"During the years of renovation efforts, residential complexes with pleasant surroundings have been built right on the creek sides. But super-large residential complexes have blocked easy access for others to reach the creek and have forced tourists to take detours," said Xia Side, a government official from Putuo District.

Xia said the district government now plans to build walkways along the creek over the next few years, so that tourists can travel more easily along the waterway, which has great historic and cultural value.


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