The three wonders of Shanghai

Traditionally the wonders of the world have been amazing engineering feats. In the same spirit, let me list three engineering marvels of Shanghai.

Partway up the Shanghai World Financial Center
Partway up the Shanghai World Financial Center

Pudong is definitely the first of the wonders of Shanghai. This new business district was created east of the river Huang Pu in the 1990s. Today it has two of the world’s 10 highest skyscrapers: the 632 meters high Shanghai Tower (second only to Burj Khalifa) and the Shanghai World Financial Center, which is 492 meters tal, and the 4th highest in the world). It has four buildings over 400 meters tall: the Oriental Pearl Tower and the Jin Mao Tower, in addition to these two. It also has a staggering 15 buildings which are 250 meters or more in height.

The plush interior of the maglev
The plush interior of the maglev

The maglev train is the second wonder of Shanghai. It runs between Pudong international airport and the Longyang road station. The distance of about 30 kilometers is covered in about 7 minutes, and the peak speed is 431 km/second (a slower version has a peak speed of 301 km/s). This is the only commercial train of its kind in the world.

A pacing ad in the Shanghai subway
A pacing ad in the Shanghai subway

The third wonder of Shanghai are pacing ads next to the metro trains. As a train speeds between stations, there are video ads which pace alongside. This amazing synchronization needs screens covering large areas of tunnels, and software to keep the image synchronized with the windows of passing trains. This amazing invention has hardly received any notice in the media.

There is a fourth wonder, which is not really an engineering marvel. It is a management solution to garbage disposal. Shanghai is a city of 23 million people, and its roads are cleaner by far than the roads of Paris or Mumbai. This is surely a wonder.

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Author: I. J. Khanewala

I travel on work. When that gets too tiring then I relax by travelling for holidays. The holidays are pretty hectic, so I need to unwind by getting back home. But that means work.

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