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Soaring Shanghai May Reflect China’s Aspirations

soaring shanghai

Soaring Shanghai probably reflects what China would like to be. It’s miles ahead of Beijing and demonstrates what can be accomplished with more freedom. 

We ended our 2018 Asia trip with a few days in Shanghai. It’s the second visit for us, with the first on our way home from New Zealand a few years ago. We even stayed in the same hotel.

Radisson Blu is a wonderful hotel, next to People’s Square and Nanjing Road Pedestrian Street. This hotel has over 500 rooms and the revolving Epicure restaurant on the 45th floor. Epicure provides a great way to view the lights and Shanghai landscape in the evening during its two hour revolution. Radisson Blu is in the heart of Shanghai and adjacent to China's premiere shopping street. An extra benefit of this location is the short stroll to historic Bund district.

At 24 million people, Shanghai is the showpiece of modern China. The city has a long history of prosperity and is the largest free-trade zone on the mainland. It is the economic and commercial powerhouse, well mannered and outgoing. While Shanghai shares the same governing structure as the rest of the country, it seems much more progressive. But I guess it would also be fair to say that Shanghai is different from the rest of China in the same way that New York and London are different from their respective countries as a whole.

Soaring Shanghai – Love the Nanpu Bridge

Nanpu Bridge is emblematic of soaring Shanghai. It really soars. Nanpu is a very big (half a kilometer) cable-stayed bridge built in 1991 to join major sections of the city. It eased congestion by replacing many ferries and tunnels with six lanes of traffic. Currently, it carries around 120,000 vehicles per day, which is actually well below its capacity.

Most unique are its spiral on and off ramps. Since land is very scarce in Shanghai, the unique circular design of the ramps reduces the amount of land used by Nanpu Bridge and helps with traffic flow. The spirals actually cross each other in the air. The transition from city street to a very high level bridge is seamless.

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