Xintiandi (Chinese: 新天地; pin yin: xīn tiān dì) is a former old city area of Shanghai’s French Quarter. It was transformed by American architect Benjamin T. Wood and the Japanese company Nikken Sekkai in the last decade. The Hong Kong developer Shui On Group revolutionized urban redevelopment planning in China when they turned the old Chinese and foreign-style buildings into a ritzy entertainment and residential area for expats and wealthy people. They did this by preserving the charming century-old style of the buildings. This allowed for open space and air that produces an environment that favorably contrasts with the noisy urban canyons in most cities. It is a pedestrian area with ready transportation via nearby metro stops. It is now a model for urban redevelopment of inner-city areas in China, and it has become one of Shanghai’s favorite entertainment districts though it is small area.
Xintiandi basically takes up two city blocks. It covers 128 acres in the center of Shanghai. It has a favorable location between the Former Residence of President Sun Yat Sen and a small park with a pond. The area was once part of the wealthy International Settlement, but the area had become dirty and run-down. When the Shui On Group took over the project around the turn of the millennium, instead of razing the area and building high-rises according to the original plan, they followed the recommendation of Benjamin Wood to renovate the buildings and streets. Each building exhibits its own unique international mix of styles. Some are more Chinese, and some are more Western.
The Shui On group spent about 170 million US dollars to renovate the whole area. They preserved many of the 19th century Shikumen-style of buildings in the northern part of Xintiandi, but modern buildings were built in the southern part. Then luxury-brand companies set up boutiques and many restaurants were built inside the buildings. Tourists are amazed at the interior décors that show that a lot of exacting detail, energy, and wealth. The area is now one of Shanghai’s favorite international tourist attractions.
Xintiandi is in the center of Shanghai City and south of Huaihai Zong Lu. Its central location is part of what makes it a great area for shopping, entertainment and leisure. Xintiandi means ”New Heaven and Earth,” and it is considered a model lifestyle center. It has fast become one of the most popular areas in Shanghai for both the locals and tourists alike. The area is a great place to shop during the day, and offers a great nightlife on weekdays as well as weekends.
Address: 21F, 319 Changde Road (corner of West Beijing Road)
Closest metro: Line 2/7 Jing’an Temple, Exit 3/4/10,
A 5 min walk away
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