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September 21, 2018

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Touring past, present and future

WITH Shanghai Tourism Festival in full swing, five new tours offer a chance to peer into Shanghai’s industrial past, present and future.

Well known as China’s financial center, Shanghai was also the cradle of the country’s industrialization and is at the forefront of technological and manufacturing development today.

The city has 290 industrial heritage sites, such as the 137-year-old Yangshupu Water Plant, and is home to leading manufacturers such as COMAC, developer of China’s first long-haul airliner.

According to the tourism bureau, four sites on the Huangpu River will form one route.

The crenelated Yangshupu Water Plant has been supplying the city with water since 1881 and continues to do so. About 10 minutes’ walk away, stands an English-style country house, once home to the British boss of the city’s first foreign-built cotton mill. The two are iconic landmarks on the riverside walkway in Yangpu District.

Across the river in the Pudong New Area, opposite Yangpu, stand the MIFA 1862 arts center, renovated from a shipyard built in 1862, and the Minsheng silo built in 1908, once the largest grain silo in Asia, now another arts venue.

Another tour, “Smart City Interactive Experience” links Huaxin Exhibition Center, Google Developer Groups, Huaxin Wisdom Hub, Shanghai Radio Museum and the Mobike Exhibition Hall, showing the city’s involvement in innovative ideas such as the sharing economy and environmental-friendly offices.

A “Dynamic” route is all about cars and includes the SAIC Volkswagen plant, the auto museum and Shanghai International Circuit, home to the Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix since 2004.

COMAC, the Commercial Aircraft Corp of China, is the driving force behind the domestically made C919 and ARJ21 aircraft. Sany Group is the world’s fifth biggest machinery manufacturer. Shanghai Electric’s heavy equipment manufacturing Lingang base is equipped with super-modern and rarely seen machinery. Together, these three sites form a tour devoted to the bright future of heavy manufacturing.

The last route, “Exploring Smart Life,” goes from Shanghai Supercomputer Center past the Integrated Circuit Museum and on to iFLYTEK, a company dedicated to research in intelligent speech synthesis.

All the sites are open to the public, but some have admission fees. Maps and information leaflets are available from tourist information centers across the city.

The bureau yesterday released a three-year development plan to turn the city into a model of industrial tours by 2020, with 22 manufacturing companies, industrial parks and museums forming an alliance to promote the tours.

The bureau will build 10 bases for the tours and identify 100 locations. At least 15 million visitors are expected to take these industrial tours each year.


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