Home>Shinan District, Qingdao Shandong

Old Qingdao getting new look with traditional feel

By Xie Chuanjiao in Qingdao, Shandong| chinadaily.com.cn| Updated: May 23, 2022

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Qingdao, Shandong province, offers magnificent views of red tiles, green trees, blue seas and azure skies. [Photo by Song Zhe/For chinadaily.com.cn]

With over a century of memory of the city's development, the old downtown area of Qingdao, Shandong province, will soon tell a different story.

Under a three-year citywide protection and redevelopment campaign launched recently, historic areas of the city will take on new looks while preserving their nostalgic atmosphere.

The 28 square kilometer old town enclosing the 1,500-meter Zhongshan Road in Shinan district, built in 1897, used to be one of the most important commercial areas of Qingdao. It featured iconic courtyard neighborhoods, time-honored brand shops, cafes and bars — although development gradually lost its vibrancy over the past few decades.

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The 1907 Movie Club in Qingdao, Shandong province, completed in 1902, was formerly the Qingdao Seamen's Club. Now, after renovations, it is a new film landmark in the city. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

With efforts being made to improve transportation infrastructure, public spaces, businesses, housing and civic facilities, the city is aiming at elevating the living quality of its people in a protective and sustainable way.

"We will continue to build a livable and lovable city with an improved environment for living, working and visiting," Party Chief Lu Zhiyuan said. "To make the old historic downtown areas pulsate with energy again, we will endeavor to retain the essence of our city's culture, empowering heritage with new commercial vitality for a better life for residents and a better experience for visitors."

As of the end of April, 72 projects to preserve and renovate historic blocks in the Dabaodao area near Zhongshan Road in the city's Shibei district have begun, with an investment of 4 billion yuan ($592 million).

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Historic areas of Qingdao, Shandong province, are expected to take on new looks in a citywide campaign of urban renewal and regeneration. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

So far, about 30 businesses have settled there — fancy music bars, coffee bars, restaurants, bookstores and trendy shops. The area now has a new name, Dabaodao Cultural Leisure Block.

Apart from historic protection, the three-year campaign covers other undertakings, including the development and construction of inefficient areas, old villages, municipal facilities, transportation infrastructure, subways and parking facilities, said Zhou Zhaoli, a senior official involved in the three-year campaign.

"A total of 974 projects are listed in this year's work plan within all of the city's 10 districts and county-level cities, with a total investment of 145.9 billion yuan," Zhao added.

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Historic areas of Qingdao, Shandong province, are expected to take on new looks in a citywide campaign of urban renewal and regeneration. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

The upgrade of Shuangzhu Park — a landmark built in 1987 that covers nearly 20 hectares in Qingdao West Coast New Area — is expected to be completed by the end of this month and reopen to the public.

The project includes the optimization and reconstruction of park entrances and exits, construction of new sports playgrounds, public toilets, improvement of public facilities, reconstruction of roads and dredging of artificial lakes.

The upgraded park will improve the living environment of the old urban area in the Qingdao WCNA, meet the leisure and fitness needs of local residents and improve the city's appearance, local officials said.

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Silver Fish Street, a historic part of Qingdao, Shandong province, has become a new attraction with trendy stores. [Photo by Wang Yunxiao/For chinadaily.com.cn]

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Silver Fish Street, a historic part of Qingdao, Shandong province, has become a new attraction with trendy stores. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]