I have Shanghai based Tina Kanagaratnam to thank for this interesting post.
I’ve only met Tina once, and that, too, briefly, on a “Historic Shanghai” walk led by her and her husband on our last visit to the city, but we had actually been in cyber-touch before that. Tina had kindly helped ID old photos of mine from my first ever visit to Shanghai in the early 1980s. We stayed in Instagram contact (as one does) and then, in the interesting way of things, I spotted a Twitter post from her a couple of days ago.
Bingo! A renowned historian AND a runner 🙂
So with her kind permission, here is what Tina saw on a recent run in a city that is slowly emerging from a very tough, uber-strict lockdown:
“Great to be back running in the park!
Fun fact: Xujiahui Park was laid out as a microcosm of modern Shanghai, so this bridge is supposed to be the Yan’an Road elevated highway.”
This is the bridge in question, and even though I used to go for regular runs when we visited Shanghai, I didn’t recognise this park.
So I googled it for you.
You’re most welcome.
Located in the heart of the European concession of the city, this park of more than 70,000 square metres is part of a major urban renewal project undertaken in the year 2000. The general vision for this park emerged from the importance of preserving the most striking feature of Shanghai’s industrial era: the tall and impressive factory chimney. This architectural feature serves as a beacon in the park, recalling the contributions of past generations. The park’s design remains contemporary and international with traces of the city’s past.
Xujiahui Park is bordered by Hengshan Road, Tianping Road, Zhaojiabang Road and Wanping Road. It was built in 2000 on the former sites of Ta Chung Hua Rubber Factory and Pathé Records in Shanghai, (Shanghai branch of China Record Corporation), and some neighboring areas.The park is designed to resemble the city layout of Shanghai, with water areas looking like a miniature of the Huangpu River, It is traversed by a 200-meter-long sky bridge.
Xuijiahui Park is a pleasant surprise, designed as a mini-Shanghai with a stream evoking the Huangpu River. An elevated walkway starts at the old rubber factory chimney. Plus there are a few historical buildings (including the one-time site of Spanish chef Martin Berasetegui’s failed venture into China).
So there you go 🙂 Looks like a great place to run – green and spacious.
Thanks to Tina, I now have a super new running destination for whenever we next get back to Shanghai…where our son lives, by the way. So it’s most definitely at the top of our list, whenever we are allowed back there…