City Heart a More Quiet, Beautiful Place

The city will start to move bus lines, commercial constructions and residences out of the People's Square area starting July in an effort to make this heart of the city an ideal place for sightseeing, Youth Daily has reported.

This echoes the essence of a master plan made in early 1990s by the municipal government to build the square into a culture landmark in city center, officials said. The plan said the square will mainly feature a green land on the ground and will be a subway transfer center underground.

The largest ever change took place in 1994 when some 140,000-sqare-meter green lands were added to the place to replace many commercial buildings. More cultural buildings were installed in the area in the following years including the Grand Theatre, the Shanghai Museum and the City Planning Exhibition Hall. The old People's Park was expanded.

However, dozens of bus lines remained to run in the area since the square connects many busy road sections including the Xizhang Road, the Fuzhou Cultural Street, the Yan'an Road and the East Nanjing Road. The square is especially crowded during rush hours, which gives rise to many complaints of those passing by.

No bus lines will be running right through the square, officials said. All bus lines will change routes and some bus stations terminals will be moved to underground. An underground bus terminal center will very probably be built in the southeastern corner of the square where now stands a large electronic screen facing the square, they said.

More subway lines will meet underground here in the square according to planning. Now the square is a transfer station for the metro line No 1 and No 2.

The famous Music Bookstore and the Jingpin Department Store standing near the People's Park will also be moved out to make room for a sightseeing tunnel square, which will be connecting the East Nanjing Road Pedestrian Mall and the two metro lines. Planner hope that this will also help reduce the volume of walkers on the ground.

The last residential complex left in the area -- 80-year-old alley housing covering more than 7,000 square meters in the southeastern corner of the square'C will be removed. Some 180 families will all moved out next month.

( May 29, 2002)