On our third day in Shanghai we walked to the north-western corner of the Old French Concession. Moving from history to highrise, we suddenly found ourselves overlooking the city from on top of the City Hotel Shanghai and were confronted with a sprawling wall of skyscrapers featuring at its bottom a mish-mash of shops. Walking further in the direction Yan’an Xi Lu subway station, the metropolis started shifting once again its dimension.
A 3D maze of highways intersections, subway lines and pedestrian passages made us meander through an urban constellation too often referred to as one of the Blade Runner kind. For us, it would be better to take this urban situation serious and not try to retro-actively legitimate through movie references. Using movies as a point of reference is in essence not bad, but it would be wiser to see Shanghai as something more than the wet dreams of Fritz Lang or Ridley Scott. We are more than a quarter of a century past Blade Runner, eighty years beyond Metropolis and this is what we have, what we see, what we walk trough and get lost in.
A couple of snapshots.
Pictures by movingcities.org