Polifactory China | This is our thirteenth “Urban Experience” in Shanghai, with which we intend to show the changes the city has undergone over time, and done understanding the urban morphology. We look at each street from an architectural, urban and historical viewpoint.
Introduction | This route is probably one of the least known of all the previous ones, and is the one that takes us through the northern part of Shanghai but in the Easter part reaching the unknown Yangpu district for foreigners. Although the start of the journey is not at the street Changzi, we decided to start at the point where ends Suzhou Road (Urban Experience 01) so that there is continuity, since in this new Experience we will never cross any other Urban Experience Road. This street belongs to the district of Hongkou mainly but the continuation, which is Changyang ends up in the district of Yangpu. From the starting point take pictures every 200 meters, or whenever there is a significant change in the urban landscape. The scale of the street is quite changeable. Length: 5,600 km.
History | The Changzhi Road was once well known and his name was East Seward Road , and much further away in the East, the name formerly was Ward Road (now Changyang Road) . The entire stretch of the route belonged to the (later International Concession ) American Concession although the end of the Ward Road which is the last photographs we show at this post, it was almost the border with the outside of Shanghai jurisdiction. The west side of the street, or current Changzhi, begins where the confluence of the most important arteries of that Concession, such as Broadway Road, Seward Road, Tiendong Road or Whangpoo Road, where the famous Astor House Hotel was. Very near the confluence of streets was the original location of the American Consulate, but also the Japanese and German ones, all of them were there a few years before the Russian Consulate place himself in front of the Astor buying part of the hotel gardens , as a consecuence of the economical problems the Hotel had in 1916. This whole street is known because over the years and the advent of World War II, was the area where Jews settled and where the first ghettos were created for that community. The only relevant, nice and preserved building today in former Ward Road is the prison and the nearby police station.
Nowadays | This is a road of high flow of traffic in all areas going through. It is a road of two-way stretch and busy. It makes the road a very important axis east-west together with Dongdaming Road running parallel, linking a very important way from Huangpu District to the Bund, Huangpu is a very remote area from center and is rarely visited. It is relevant road for the district but not for the general Shanghai circulation. In almost all sections it has a high traffic flow, and is widely used by medium and high speed traffic, but less motorbikes and bicycles, although they can make all the street in both directions. The width of the street varies but usually never less than three lanes in each direction, except in the far east, it becomes a neighborhood street of smaller scale, and because of its big scale is not busy by pedestrians, has few shady or not used. There are only trees in the stretch further East. At this point we perceive that the scale changes and there are some trees more, but we are already far away from Shanghai center.
Urban Relevance | The importance of this road in this part of town is high because it organizes medium and high local traffic speeds (many cars, motorbikes and just some bycicles). Its function as a link between different irrelevant parts of the city and its history give it a peripheral character with very large scale buildings, the ones that once were factories are now in the best of cases new offices. Sidewalks are rather narrow and little used by very few pedestrians. It is in conclussion a street with constant and high traffic, but with a poor little relevance in terms of urbanism, with just local use.