Shanghai, sky scraping is all moving and shaking, as you see from the window of top floor of slender spire, Shanghai as forest of skyscrapers with raging religion called capitalism. Shanghai has achieved what can be said like this “only those who attempt the absurd can accomplish the impossible”, once a shanty town, Shanghai has come a long way and has a long way ahead to go.
Shanghai, which literally means ‘Above the Sea’, is a port city on the Huangpu River, on the bank where the Yangtze River empties into the East China Sea. Originally Shanghai was nothing but a fishing and textiles town, but when Shanghai opened to foreign powers by the 1842 Treaty of Nanking it gained it identity and aim. Shanghai is where the east is meeting with west, Shanghai has British, French, Americans, Germans, and Russians all setting up their distinct Western-style banks, trading houses, and mansions, making an eternal architectural legacy to this day. The city prospered and boomed as a cosmopolitan and is now a thriving commercial and financial center, nicknamed as the “Pairs of the East” in 1920s and 1930s. Shanghai, though being part of the cradle of Chinese Communism, was neglected during the Cultural Revolution; it was in 1990 Shanghai was chosen to spearhead modern China’s reform of being an open economy, which resulted in intense development. Shanghai is the inspiration for novels, films and even cocktails. Shanghai is the most evocative city in the whole of China. Though Beijing may be more mysterious but Shanghai put forwards half-digested, semi-mythical images. Shanghai is city feels like part Manhattan, part Moscow, and part teeming village.
Shanghai is fun to tour. The Huangpu River, the tributary of Yangtze River, is fringed with a gallery of architectures, known as the Bund, summoning the curious visitors and locals alike. Shanghai has been erected during different periods in varying styles, of Gothic, Romanesque or Baroque, and these fifty two buildings standing together in perfect harmony. The sight becomes astonishing as the night falls; revel seeing the most famed Bank of China Building and the Peace Hotel as they are bathed in lavender lighting, which is the testament of being the most telling witness of the past century of the Bund.
Shanghai is the largest city in China and being China’s economic, commercial and financial center capital, Shanghai is vital and crucial for China’s future. It is one of the most vibrating and fascinating, with such a unique colonial past. Westerners built mansions, garden estates, clubs and cathedrals a century ago are scattered throughout the city, and a synagogue, built during the days of an unprecedented Jewish immigration to China. With the obvious of Chinese traditional treasures, as you take walk through the chaotic old city: a teahouse, active temples, ancient pagodas and a must see quintessential southern-Chinese classic garden such as the Yuyuan Garden.
Seventeen Percent of World’s cranes: Shanghai is an anomaly in this vast land. With its topsoil fertilized by the hard work, sweat and dreams of a billion peasants, skyscrapers spring like mushrooms out of the earth. In a record style Shanghai has built two thousand skyscrapers over 100 meters tall in the last decade. And for building such tall buildings they took help of what they claim is 17 percent of the world’s cranes, they are offering office space at the rate of one Columbia Tower every two or three days. Shanghai’s future, the Pudong New Area, the modern and ever-expanding skyline spectacled by the emblematic Orient Pearl Tower, it is the highest observation decks in Asia, along with elevating modern art-deco Jin Mao Tower and the 101-floor World Financial Centre, which also features the Park Hyatt hotel, being the tallest hotel in the world.
Orient Pearl Tower
China’s corporate goal: Overcome the backward state that it was, for the mess Mao had left and all this be done as quickly and thoroughly as possible and for this it is regardless of the cost. And Shanghai has well achieved and surpassed and now has became the international metropolis of Shanghai which is an influential economic power in the world and indisputably an economic, financial, trade, cultural, science and technology center of China. Shanghai keeps 40 percent of its profit from its economy and trade which is enough to keep its engines stoked. Shanghai has just one percent of China’s 1.3 billion populations, but it produces 8 percent of its economy.
Shanghai thrives on deadlines and to enforce its international status it stages big events to force progress. Fine exemplary can be seen from electronic reader boards which have been already counting down the days until Expo 2010 opening in Shanghai. Astounding fact here for such immense growth of city goes to government, with a top-down efficiency unfettered by the niceties of democracy, has build the infrastructure like ports, airports and highways etc in order to let capitalism really gallop! It’s the government which is responsible rather than the stock market which incubates new businesses and technologies.
In 2004 Time magazine called Shanghai the ‘world’s most happening city.’ Shanghai continues to be Asia’s centre-stage status with Shanghai hosting World Expo.
China’s richest city is the leading trendsetter in fashion, design and the arts, and also Shanghai is one the best city in China for dining and shopping. Locals in Shanghai, are friendly, frank, efficient, growth oriented and progressive and giving China its most outward-looking, and modern metropolis, abounding with legions of futuristic skyscrapers, scrumptious restaurants, glitzy bars, classy hotels, brand awareness and shopping savvy, also offering a competing with rival Asia cities such as Hong Kong, and Singapore.
With Shanghainese enterprises showing increase in creativity and innovation in development, more famous multinational corporations have set up their Asia Pacific headquarters in Shanghai.
The advent of World Expo 2010, will put Shanghai’s growth as an international metropolis to better serve and which in turn will lead the economic development of the Yangtze River Delta, and even all of China.