Zhang Yuan is located at Nanjing West road and Taixing road in Shanghai, it is claimed to be the first public space in China. During Qing dynasty, Zhang Yuan enjoys the freedom in the concession area, quite some modern Chinese thinkers announce their speeches and spread influence here.
In Qing dynasty, Zhang Shu He bought the place for his mother and introduced Western technology such as movies, photograph and roller coster etc which attracts crowds’ participation and provides entertainment. However, the Zhang Yuan gradually became forgotten due to more large scale entertainment centers built in other parts of Shanghai. Zhang Yuan also didn’t catch up with the overall city development with outdated infrastructure. However, with the rich history and artifacts it carries, the importance of the Zhang Yuan never fades away.
With the new subway lines’ development and construction, the commercial and historical value of Zhang Yuan obtains great attention, and it’s urgent to propose a decent master plan to upgrade and revive this area into the modern city’s need. Our master plan goal is to preserve as many historical buildings as possible, upgrade the program for modern daytime users in this region, keep the living parts, and enhance the outdoor activities/ exhibition functions. A more pedestrian friendly place is planned with proper street furniture, landscape, lighting and signage to encourage more enjoyable outdoor activities. And Zhang Yuan will become the cultural plug in for this busy commercial region. We believe with these plans, Zhang Yuan will become a major Shanghai attraction in the long run.