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Dapuqiao

In southern downtown Shanghai, there is a historically important traffic hub for land and water, called Dapuqiao Bridge, which is one of the earliest developed areas in Shanghai city. But in the past the area had been notoriously dirty and disorderly. Nowadays Dapuqiao has become a newly developed commercial circle and art center in Shanghai.

There was an old bridge crossing Zhaojiabang Creek, located at the junction of Xujiahui Road and Ruijin Road No. 2, but the time of construction was unknown. Initially the bridge had been wooden structure and become cement in 1920s. In 1946 the creek was filled and the bridge removed too.

Way back to the Song Dynasty (960 - 1279), the area now we now called it Dapuqiao had been a key post in sea and river traffic, and it was a part of the ancient Shanghai town, the City's God Temple was here too. In early Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1662) the economic center moved eastwards, and the City's God Temple had been relocated to the present site at Yuyuan Garden. The leading traffic and economic status of Dapuqiao had been declined since then.

In early 20th century Dapuqiao became a name of a place that occupied about a few hundreds sq. m. During the brutal invasion by Japanese army in late 1937, most of the constructions in the area were destroyed due to extensive air raids. In the hardest time of the Anti-Japanese War, the barbaric forces cut off the waterway situated near Caoxi Road, thus the smooth flow of water had been stopped. The environment of the area was greatly deteriorated. The refugees here had to build simple but temporary houses for themselves. Some people migrated into the French Concession, which had about 50 shops sold daily commodities, staple food and meat products.

The living condition in Dapuqiao area was very poor, lethal plague in wet and hot summer and terrible fire hazard in dry and cold winter were often occurred. This harsh situation was still existed a few years after the Anti-Japanese War.

Since the founding of new China in 1949, the government made strong effort in improving the living environment at Dapuqiao. A beautiful two-way road for vehicle had been built, Zhaojiabang Road, which had about 60 businesses that engaged in consumer products, restaurants, food markets, electrical appliance and so on. Dapuqiao became a commercial area in mid 1950s. Some old and dangerous houses were demolished and many new residential blocks were built in late 1970s. Improving constructions were going on in the following decades.

In recent years many high-rise but beautiful residential buildings have been constructed in Dapuqiao area, they distributed in 14 communities. There are also 21 office buildings with state-of-the-art business facilities. Gigantic shopping malls, quality restaurants and attractive arts and crafts can be found on Taikang Road, which is a food marketplace in the past. On the street, there are more than 80 artists and cultural enterprises from around the world set up their bases here, engaging in creative activities.