Shanghai has been described as the "showpiece" of the booming economy of mainland China; renowned for its Lujiazui skyline, and museums and historic buildings, such as those along The Bund, as well as the City God Temple and the Yu Garden.
Clockwise from top: A view of the Pudong skyline, Yu Garden, China pavilion at Expo 2010 along with the Expo Axis, neon signs on Nanjing Road, and The Bund
Songjiang Square Pagoda, built in the 11th century
The extensive public park system in Shanghai offers the citizens some reprieve from the urban jungle. By the year 2012, the city had 157 parks, with 138 of them free of charge. Some of the parks, aside from offering a green public space to locals, became popular tourist attractions due to their unique location, history or architecture. The former racetrack turned central park, People's Square park, located in the heart of downtown Shanghai, is especially well known for its proximity to other major landmarks in the city. Fuxing Park, located in the former French Concession of Shanghai, features formal French-style gardens and is surrounded by high end bars and cafes. Zhongshan Park in northwestern central Shanghai is famous for its monument of Chopin, the tallest statue dedicated to the composer in the world. Built in 1914 as Jessfield Park, it once contained the campus of St. John's University, Shanghai's first international college; today, it is known for its extensive rose and peony gardens, a large children's play area, and as the location of an important transfer station on the city's metro system. Shanghai Botanical Gardenis located 12 km (7 mi) southwest of the city center and was established in 1978. One of the newest parks is in the Xujiahui area – Xujiahui Park, built in 1999 on the former grounds of the Great Chinese Rubber Works Factory and the EMI Recording Studio (now La Villa Rouge restaurant). The park has a man-made lake with a sky bridge running across the park, and offers a pleasant respite for Xujiahui shoppers. Other well-known Shanghai parks include: People's Square Park, Gongqing Forest Park, Fuxing Park, Zhongshan Park, Lu Xun Park, Century Park, and Jing'an Park.
Lotus flowers in Zhongshan Park
The Shanghai Disney Resort Project was approved by the government on 4 November 2009, and opened in 2016. The $4.4 billion theme park and resort in Pudong features a castle that is the biggest among Disney's resorts.
In the past years Shanghai has been widely recognized as a new influence and inspiration for cyberpunk culture. Futuristic buildings such as the Oriental Pearl Tower and the neon-illuminated Yan'an Elevated Road are a few examples that have helped to boost Shanghai's cyberpunk image.
Oriental Pearl Tower
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