One of the world’s largest and most populated cities, Shanghai also holds on to a history of nearly a thousand years. Taking in all this history in its ultra modern backdrop can be rather difficult for anyone. Offering an introduction to the past, present and future of the city is Shanghai’s Urban Planning Museum with a peep into what’s next for the city.
Situated at the edge of People’s Square, the exhibition hall was built in the year 2000, with the hope of explaining the roots and future path of the modern city. The building itself pays homage to the traditional Chinese architecture with its symmetric membrane-and-grid roof symbolizing the magnolia – the city’s flower. Inside its tall atriums and large halls the airy building gives a fresh new space that allows visitors to fully grasp the concepts that are being incorporated in the city.
The centrepiece of the showcase is a large scaled model of Shanghai showing all the existing buildings and constructions on the floor. Walk alongside to spot your favourite places or along the elevated platform to get a bird’s eye view of the city. Models of the airport and port in their future forms are also on show assisted with electronic displays. The Yu Gardens are also on electronic display showing the traditional landscaping and style. Another feature is a gallery giving 360 degree views of a flight over future Shanghai, among buildings that are still concepts and imaginations.
Magnetic levitation trains and other modes of transport of tomorrow can also be seen here. Other galleries hold temporary exhibits that show Shanghai through the artists’ minds, and a glimpse of other cultures with artefacts and paintings from around the world. The Urban Planning Museum is worth the visit if you want to understand the direction the metropolis is going.
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