financial district Lujiazui in 2007, Pudong Shanghai

You get on the transrapid, a magnetic levitation train. It takes you from Shanghai Pudong international airport to Longyang Road station.

Its maximum speed goes up to 268 mile/hour (431 km/h). You travel 19 mile (30,5 km) in 7 min and 20 secondes. That display line was built in order to promote chinese skills. The effect is guaranteed.

Using Shanghai metro, you come into another side of the megalopolis.You commute with the growing chinese middle class and farmers. Carrying huge plastic bags, their entire patrimony, they dream of being part of this wealthy society one day. Rural migration is massive and not always well mastered by local authority.

With an urban population reaching 20 millions inhabitants, Shanghai is bloody active.

Shanghai wants to become more attractive and challenge New York, Paris, London and Tokyo as a global city.

Lujiazu (financial and trading place) in Pudong district is a good example. This area was, in the early 1990s, made of marshs. After Chinese government involvement, it has become the main business district in Shanghai.

Lujiazu area has now 2 of the 10 highest skyscrapers in the world, Shanghai World financial centre (1614 feet 492 m 4th) and Jim Mao Tower (1378 feet 420,5 m, 9th).

Cruising Huangpu river or using the psychedelic train, you get to the “Bund”. Located in the historical center, Puxi (composed of  9 districts), this place is  also called “Strangers bank” by chinese. With its sumptuous buildings, it is one the main touristic site in Shanghai. Just next to it, big malls provide any kind of goods you look for.

ornithological reserve on the cancelled green city project : Dongtan

Ornithological reserve on the cancelled green city project : Dongtan (Photo Reuters)

While I was there in 2007, I got wind of a colossal project. Chinese government wanted to build a green city next to Shanghai : Dongtan.

For Shanghai World’s fair in 2010, Chinese authority aimed at presenting a city without any greenhouse gas emissions. I remember the keen interest for this project. That city was supposed to be an international pilot run. They finally turned it down. Nowadays, it’s still an ornithological reserve.

Shanghai authority  is aware of issues it will have to face up if it keeps on increasing its energy needs. With such a project, Shanghai could have benefited from an environmental dynamism.

Despite that failure, China government keeps on investing in « green economy » in order to be positioned as a key business actor.

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