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Pink grass highlights Golden Street
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart.



-Helen Keller



Pink grass highlights Golden Street



A hit on social media, blooming rosy pink grass is seen in many places around the city including the Golden Street in Changning.








Muhlenbergia capillaris – commonly known as the hairawn muhly – is a native to North America, but has been widely planted in China.



Along the sidewalk of the Golden Street, the 2 or 3 feet tall plants sent forth a delicate fragrance.








The pink, feathery flowers have become the newest craze for joggers, cyclists and photographers since their striking color became more visible this autumn.






Also at the street, water flows alongside, drowning the noise around. The kids run or play. Their innocent smiling faces warm the hearts of us. Sitting in the shade of a tree, talking freely with friends, it is truly an enjoyable moment in a day.




Flower market blossoms in Gubei




A flower market with 16,000 square meters of space is now open in Gubei.







Flower trade, gardening and home decoration are three major businesses at the Gubei Floral World. The market is accessible from Hongbaoshi Road, Gubei Road and Golden Street.






The four-story market provides people around and flower lovers morning fair, wholesale and retail services. Shops selling aquatic animals are also available here.




Floor b1 is for flora wholesale and retail. Covering an area of 2,000 square meters, the entire floor will be full of fresh cut flowers from all around the world. 






Floor b2 is the parking lot. The market has 400 parking spaces in total. The first and second floor will feature designer studios. Some well-known figures in the industry have accepted the invitation to open their own studios here.



Renascence of neighborhood theater




The previous Changning Cinema at 1418 Yuyuan Road is now a modern co-working space “MixPace Here”. The cinema, built through fundraising in 1952, carried many Changningers’ memories.






Posters of film stars at that time were hung around the lobby. In front of the box office were once huge movie fans. Patriotic films were blockbusters of the time. Teenagers watched them again and again.







Love birds usually spent their weekend here as well as in a restaurant in the opposite.



The cinema was demolished in May, 1997 to make way for the construction of Metro Line 2.







The “MixPace Here” is now open on its former site. The co-working space features the idea of healthy living, eating and working, making the place a new style of life without borders.





Achievement made for a better life




As one of Shanghai’s downtown districts, Changning is turning itself into a business friendly and livable international community of excellence.







Its prosperity, green water and blue sky, open and humanistic atmosphere let you live and work in peace and contentment.




Great changes have taken place in fields of industrial and commercial development, urban renewal and people’s livelihood since the beginning of the year.







The three pillars of local economy - aviation services, Internet plus life services and fashion and creative industry - rise rapidly.




Shanghai Hongqiao Linkong Economic Demonstration Zone in the west side of the district has introduced 10 aviation services providers since the beginning of the year.







During the same period, 369 new businesses registered in the pilot zone of Internet plus life services. Columbia Circle has become a new landmark in Hongqiao Fashion and Creative Cluster.







More than 100 artificial intelligence startups have been established in the Hongqiao Smart Valley. 



Meanwhile, construction of the Livat shopping center by IKEA Centers China has kicked off in Xinjing Town. It will feature around 300 fashion, catering and entertainment brands from around the world and home the fourth IKEA outlet in the city.








French retailer Carrefour SA also opened its largest store in Changning. The flagship store at 18 Tianshan Road W. is the smartest Carrefour hypermarket throughout the country and with the best shopping environment.



The 18 Plaza where the Carrefour new store locates is home to the world leading online-to-offline (O2O) local life service platform Meituan-Dianping.








In the Zhongshan Park Commercial Circle, Cloud Nine Shopping Mall has upgraded most shops in it. New highlights include the first MUJI bakery in the mainland and the second ZARA concept throughout the world.




The Raffles City Changning opened last year is a mix of historic buildings and fashion business. It features a century-old bell tower and auditorium previously belonging to the St Mary’s where Eileen Chang once studied.







Several blocks away, the Hongqiao Business Area is home to a number of shopping and cultural complexes, such as the Arch Walk, L’Avenue, The Place and Hongqiao Art Center.




After years of construction, underground pedestrian tunnels connect dozens of malls and office buildings in the business area, making it possibly the longest underground footpath in Shanghai.






Changning also renovated some of its century-old streets and factories. Modern design and architecture allow old construction to meet new ideas and materials. It’s not only the look of the street that’s changing, but also the lifestyle of the people who live on it.







Moreover, a footpath was built along the Suzhou Creek. The footpath, a 25-kilometer non-motorized transport in Linkong and the greenway at the Outer Ring Road jointly form a slow life ecosystem.







The former Shanghai International Gymnasium Center is being demolished and will be replaced by an entirely new one.




Eight more bridges will be built over the Suzhou Creek together with four new tourists’ wharfs.







Changning will build more elderly care facilities in local communities amid a soaring elderly population.




By 2020, every community in Changning will have a senior service center, a nursing home, four or five day care centers and a seniors’ club.




The district will also establish early screening, community prevention, family support, professional intervention and care institutions for seniors who suffer cognitive disorders.




By the end of last year, Changning had more than 200,000 permanent residents aged above 60, accounting for 35.3 percent of the population. That is expected to hit 40 percent by 2020.







For their convenience, government has streamlined the approval procedure for the installation of elevators in old multi-story apartment buildings. Fourteen elevators have been installed while another 57 are with the installation anticipated.




Changning is intensifying its high quality education resources through the establishment of the education groups. Teachers, curriculums and hobby clubs are shared within each group to promote a balanced development of education, as well as continuously improving education quality.






The newly-established Tianshan School offers education from kindergarten to senior high school. Eleven education groups have been established in the past two years to cover compulsory education in the district.



Sassoon’s legend behind old villas



Along the west part of Hongqiao Road are garden villas behind high walls and covered by tall big trees. Many of them were built by once successful businessmen before 1949.








Nowadays, the old houses share their stories with us. At the intersection of Hami Road and Hongqiao Road, a British-style house was once owned by Victor Sassoon (1881-1961), the real estate tycoon and founder of Shanghai’s landmark Cathay Hotel on the Bund (now the Peace Hotel).




The villa, also known as Rubicon Garden, named after the road next to the villa, which is now Hami Road, was built in 1932 for Victor Sassoon .





The typical British-style villa is a two-story brick structure covering an area of 800 square meters. It features a steeply sloped roof covered in flat, black tiles, red brick walls and 12 rooms — and the garden was the scene for several popular movies.







The villa was once used as a sanatorium for workers of the Shanghai Textile Industry Bureau. It is now the Shanghai headquarters of a Haikou-based land holding company.




The villa was listed as a protected cultural relic unit in September 1989.




Wealthy as Sassoon was, he built two villas in similar styles along Hongqiao Road. The other one is widely known as the Sassoon's Villa at 2409 Hongqiao Road.







Just as the Rubicon Garden, the Sassoon’s Villa was constructed with expensive imported materials and designed by Palmer & Turner Architects and Surveyors, a leading British architecture firm.




Set in wooded land and meadows, it’s reminiscent of an English countryside home. The summer home is made of wood and brick, the roof covered with red tiles and the outer walls painted pale yellow.




After the War in the Pacific broke out in 1941, the villa was occupied by the Japanese army and used as a hotel. When Japan surrendered in 1945, the villa was bought by Ningbo textile tycoon Li Shuxiong, who turned it into the Hongqiao Club - an elite gathering spot for politicians, bankers and tycoons throughout Shanghai.






At the time there was a joke describing the political and economic importance of the villa’s patrons: “If one day a bomb falls on the roof of the club, China's economy and financial system would be in a total mess the next day.” Since the 1980s, the villa has been Building No. 1 of the Cypress Hotel.




Editor: Li Xinran Shanghai Daily




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