Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Gwinnett Lands in Shanghai

On June 19th, after a 15-hour direct flight on Delta, we landed in Shanghai. We were greeted with an instant health scan and each passenger was screened for feverish symptoms with a small, handheld detection device that looked like a cash register scanner. We quickly found that this was a preventive measure to protect against the spread of Swine Flu. The small computer detected fever in one unfortunate passenger and he is currently in quarantine through the end of the week. We later learned that 11 cases of swine flu were reported in the Shanghai Daily not long after our arrival.
Liu Zhong, Chairman of Kunshan Shuizhougxian Investment Holding Co., Ltd., hosted dinner our first evening in Shanghai. We dined on the 56th floor of the Shanghai World Financial Center. Following dinner, our delegation took a tram under the Huangpu River through the world's longest underwater tunnel to the Bund from the base of the
Oriental Pearl Tower. A TV tower in Shanghai, the Oriental Pearl Tower is located at the tip of Lujiazui in the Pudong district, by the side of Huangpu River, opposite The Bund of Shanghai. The Bund usually refers to the buildings and wharves on this section of the road, as well as some adjacent areas. The Bund is one of the most famous tourist destinations in Shanghai. Building heights are restricted in this area. To learn more check out this Wikipedia link. There was plenty of construction around the Bund in preparation for the Expo 2010 in Shanghai.
We, then, toured Shanghai's stylish Xin Tian Di. A neighborhood of old Shikumen (a type of tenement found only in Shanghai), Xin Tian Di was saved through restoration that transformed the old stone buildings into boutiques, clubs and restaurants. Xin Tian Di is one of China's finest historical
redevelopment districts and there are several best practice opportunities to bring back and apply in our own redevelopment corridors. I immediately thought of our cities and the transformation that many have already taken to incorporate the history of the town with the vision of its future.

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