Downtown waterfront areas along the core section of Suzhou Creek, which features the preserved site of a historical rowing club and recreational facilities, are to be renovated.
A blueprint was released on Thursday for the 3-kilometer riverside region between Waibaidu Bridge, where the creek meets the Huangpu River, and Chengdu Road Bridge in Huangpu District.
The waterfront section will mainly showcase the history and culture of Shanghai with public activity space for citizens and tourists, according to the district government.
As a key project in the east section, the history of the Shanghai Rowing Club will be highlighted. The club was established around 1859 near the end of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) as one of the earliest public recreation sites for British settlers after Shanghai opened its port in 1843.
Although the original boathouse was demolished in 1989, part of the site at 76 Nansuzhou Road, including the main building and an archway of the west wing, has been preserved. The remaining building was built in 1905 in a style reflecting both Victorian and Edwardian Baroque styles.
The east section is expected to become the “portal and landmark” attraction for the whole of Suzhou Creek waterfront, according to the district government.
The west section between the Wuzhen Road and Chengdu Road bridges will feature sunshades, riverside platforms and a park with traditional local games. The flood walls will blend with paths for both pedestrians and cyclists.
“The project aims to open the waterfront and some inland areas along the creek for citizens and visitors to get closer to nature,” said Gao Yun, Party secretary of Huangpu District.
Gao and other district officials inspected the riverside region on Thursday to see preparations for the upcoming renovation.
The project is expected to take two years. Work on the east and west sections will be completed this year as a “demonstration project,” while the middle section and inland developments will be started in 2020.
The current Suzhou Creek waterfront has cement pathways and simple landscaping. Pedestrians can’t get close to the creek at some spots which are interrupted by infrastructure, companies or neighborhoods.
The city government plans to redevelop the waterfront with continuous paths and attractions.
The 125-kilometer creek, which flows from Qingpu District to Waibaidu Bridge, is the Huangpu River’s biggest tributary.
According to the plan, the area alongside the creek is being developed into a multifunctional and dynamic zone, featuring humanities, culture and an ecological environment.
According to the development plan “Striving for a World-Class Waterfront Area,” continuous riverside zones will be created along both the Huangpu and Suzhou Creek by 2020, featuring more greenery, preserved historical buildings, cross-river bridges, “sponge city” technology and even “harmonious hues.”
Sidewalks stretching 45 kilometers on the banks of the Huangpu downtown between Yangpu and Xupu bridges are already open. The city plans to extend those both upstream and downstream, while improving services and scenery on the existing section.