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From furnaces to a bold new future
From:Shanghai Daily  |  2020-06-29 08:29

Work began yesterday at the center of Shanghai’s former iron and steel industry to transform it into a “smart city” of scientific innovation, business and tourism.

The Wusong area in Baoshan District, known as the cradle of China’s modern industry, was home to the renowned Baosteel Group and more than 300 metal refineries and chemical engineering plants dating back to the 1930s.

Most of the factories have shut down or been relocated due to pollution problems.

Now the 26-square-kilometer site will be transformed into theWusong Smart City, a subcenter with new material and hardware industries, scientific and cultural innovation parks, commerce and business facilities, residential communities and waterfront attractions.

Work started yesterday to turn former Baosteel stainless and special steel production lines into a business district with three 200-meter-high office buildings and a commercial complex for cultural performances, theaters, art exhibitions, stores, eateries and parks.

The smart city on Youyi, Tongji, Changjiang Road W. and Jiangyang Road N. was home to the city’s earliest iron-steel plants — the No. 1 and No. 5 Shanghai Steel Factory — and later became the production base of Baosteel.

Chairman Mao Zedong and former leaders Deng Xiaoping and Jiang Zemin all visited the site. The redevelopment aims to create an example for the transformation of old industrial bases across the country, as well as a center for innovation, entrepreneurship and tourism.

The Wusong Smart City will have a park at its core along with a business center in the Yanghang area and a cultural center on the waterfront of the Yangtze.

The riversides of the Huangpu and Wenzaobang rivers will be developed for sightseeing and recreation.

Parks and greenlands will account for a quarter of the future smart city, while the abundant waterways will be retained. A total of 10 kilometers of riverside paths and another 10 kilometers of forest walkways will be developed.

Wusong, at the junction of the Yangtze, Huangpu and Wenzaobang rivers, began developing into an industrial center in the 1930s due to the waterways. China’s first industrial gas refinery and the first industrial sugar plant were opened in the 1930s.

In 1938, the Shanghai No. 1 Steel Factory marked the beginning of Wusong’s glorious iron-steel days. Amid a nationwide steelmaking boom in 1958, a large number of state-owned industrial companies were based there.

The Baosteel project started production in 1978, making Wusong the city’s largest steelmaking, chemicals, construction materials and metals refinery base.