Shanghai's Bund reopens ahead of World Expo

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The Independent Online

The Shanghai Bund, one of the city's most famous tourist attractions, has reopened ahead of the Shanghai World Expo opening on May 1.

Tens of thousands of people are reported to have attended the reopening on March 28, three years after the area was closed for a major renovation that started in 2007.

The Bund, a collection of colonial era buildings, is one of the most iconic attractions in Shanghai. Stretched along the banks of the Huangpu river facing Pudong, the area houses many of Shanghai's major multinational corporations in buildings that range in architectural styles from gothic and baroque to art deco.

The restoration, reported to have cost around £280 million (€311 million), was designed to restore the area to its 1930s glamour. A 2,000-meter long promenade has been installed along the riverbank, along with thousands of new benches, trees and an underground tunnel to cut traffic along the busy throughway.

The Bund will now be a major tourist attraction for the 70 million visitors expected at the Shanghai Expo, which begins on May 1. Over 400 billion yuan (€215 billion) has been invested in the city ahead of the event, delivering significant improvements to the urban infrastructure.