Shanghai | Jing’an District I

Shanghai Jing'an District | October 2009

Since mid-October 2009, MovingCities is based on the 26st floor of a tower located in Shanghai‘s Jing’an District, one the city’s most densely populated districts – bordering the Huangpu District in the East, and Suzhou Creek to the North. Somewhere in front of us two towers are under construction. It is not that they are adding one floor each day – don’t believe the hype – but, in the course of three months, progress has been visible. Some stop-motion/paparazzi impressions from a city, slowly but steady, going up.

According to some, Jing’an District is today occupying a dominant position in the urban construction of Shanghai, a symbol of new Shanghai in the 21st century, something which is in line with the ambitions for the district, expressed in the “11th Five-Year Plan” (2007-2012). In this period the 7.62 sq-km area (with an approximate population of 436, 600) should achieve the total capacity of business and office buildings of 4 million m2, lead the city in terms of the concentration of international brands (…) create 100,000 new jobs (…) and significantly improve people’s living standards; upgrade the urban infrastructure, improve the housing and transportation conditions to a great extent.

Next to this, today’s Jing’an District should form four functional images: 1. being a landmark area of Shanghai international shopping center; 2. being a key area of international professional service industry; 3. being a mainstream area of Shanghai international culture and fashion center; and 4. be a modern urban residential area.

As for how this image is being constructed, we’ll follow up later this week.
For now, a close-up on construction, steady as it goes.

Shanghai Jing'an District | October 2009 - January 2010

Pictures by

Shanghai Streets [September 2009]
Shanghai Subway & Streets [January 2010]

2 thoughts on “Shanghai | Jing’an District I”

  1. I don’t understand the city concept of Shanghai. They mix hi-rise buildings and low-rise buildings like the photos above. What is the purpose of this design? Or they just build everything without a proper city plan? Or actually those low-rise buildings are part of the old buildings that will demolished in the near future?

    1. hi Herman,

      We made a follow-up post [] zooming out on the district from two rooftops. This might give another, if not better, impression of the balance between high- and low-rise in the area and you’re questioning (as we do). What you are seeing as low-rise might be indeed up for demolition at a later stage of urban development. Currently it might visually look like there is no proper plan behind it and that there is an inevitable urban process of “this” replacing “that”. But it might be also one of the most exciting phases of that process, one clearly of visual territorial tension. Once living inside of this, being surrounded by it, one appreciates the variety of visual urban layers, changing depths, relation between foreground and background and, on the ground level, the diverse social-economical atmosphere. Not sure if any proper city plan could make this happen. But you’re right, it would be good to understand this better on more objective criteria and follow-up on the development of this area in that regard.

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