Shanghai | subway and streets

Changyang Road | October 27, 2009

China is in transit and subways are sprouting around and under us. China is not only an urban nation, but with about 2500 kilometers of subway lines nationwide under construction it also more and more a subway nation. In December 2009, subway Line7, also called the Expo Line, opened in Shanghai (check subway map), connecting Shanghai University in the North and Huamu Road (Pudong) in the South of Shanghai. MovingCities went exploring the area around the Changzhong Road, just South of the University, drove through a rural and urban mix and came back with snapshots. Also, belated demolishment snapshots from a section of Changyang Rd.

Whether in Guangzhou (Line5), Shanghai (Line7) or Beijing (Line4), China’s future seems to happen underground, less visible, less fancy, seemingly less appealing than “architecture”, the future of the city is more about mobility than it will be about creating monuments. According to an article in China Daily called “Subway projects in 22 cities given go-ahead” (August 21, 2009) as many as 79 subway projects in 22 cities have been approved by the State Council:

As many as 79 subway projects in 22 cities have been approved by the State Council, China’s cabinet, the China Business News reported Friday, citing a senior official of the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MOHURD). The subway lines will be built around 2015, with lengths totaling 2,259.84 km and overall investment amounting to 882 billion yuan ($129.11 billion), said Lu Kehua, head of the urban development department of MOHURD.

As of the end of 2008, China has 29 urban mass transit lines in 10 cities, with a total mileage of 776 km and annual traffic volume reaching 2.21 billion, Lu said. About 50 subways are under construction in 15 cities with mileages totaling 1,154 km, he added.

The State Council sets three criteria on assessing a city’s application for subway projects: the city’s urban population should exceed 3 million, its general domestic product should surpass 100 billion yuan, and it can collect over 10 billion yuan in fiscal revenues, according to the China Business News.

Some recent snapshots of Shanghai subways and streets.

Transformation of Changyang Rd | October 27, 2009

Transformation of Changzhong Road (Line7) | December 22, 2009

Pictures by


Shanghai Streets [September 2009]
Beijing Line13 subway [2006-2009]
Beijing Line8 Gulou Dajie subway station [August 2009]

2 thoughts on “Shanghai | subway and streets”

  1. Long-time reader, first comment.

    As an urban planning grad student with a few years of China experience under my belt, I can be critical of the Mainland urban situation as much as the next person. However, one item which I’m continuously amazed and jealous of the gorgeous rail networks that are being created throughout the nation. It wont’ be long before these networks begin to rival or overtake the integrated rail system sported by Tokyo (one of the, if not the, best – in my opinion). I couldn’t believe the changes between when I originally left the Mainland in 2008 and when I returned on exchange this summer in 2009.

    In Canada, we are looking at yet another (in a series of many) reports regarding the feasibility of a rail corridor between Windsor and Montreal and there is a distinct possibility that Ottawa’s much vamped light rail project could be going back to the drawing boards for the 4th time in about 5 years. If I see one fast train in Canada in my lifetime, I’ll consider myself lucky.

    However, my favorite hostel in Beijing was recently torn down this summer to accomodate one of the new lines and there was quite a street scene with one of the adjacent fruit stand owners who was being evicted from his property (I can’t remember which number…will run down through Gulou, I believe). Just a personal anecdote to the often unseen costs of rapid development.

    1. hi Bryan,

      Thanks for the input, while at this side of the world we understand it is hard to keep track of the changing urban and infrastructural environment, it seems that at your end it is hard to move forward. Curious to be kept further posted. It seems that these can counterbalance a certain desire to see global parallels between urban developments.

      Re: your favorite hostel in Beijing; most likely this set of images was shot in this, our old, neighborhood, no?

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