Our brothers and sisters at Londonist breathed a huge sigh of relief yesterday — they no longer have to redesign their logo. They will remain, for the foreseeable future, the city with the biggest ferris wheel. Pop open the champagne, guys! They have Shanghai to thank. Our idiot city planners have decided to scrap plans to build a “spinning giant”:
The Shanghai Star Ferris wheel was to stand 200 to 230 meters above its Hongkou District neighborhood, beating the London Eye, which sits 135 meters above the ground and holds the world’s height title.
However, “the project proved to be unfeasible as it is a contravention against the designated function of the land, which is to offer shipping services,” an official with the development office of the Shanghai north Bund told the newspaper yesterday.
A Hangzhou-based private real-estate developer won the rights in April 2005 to buy the plot reserved for the amusement ride for 1.46 billion yuan, the highest price ever paid for the city’s land at that time.
The high-flying wheel was scheduled to serve as an anchor for an entertainment and commercial complex that was expected to attract millions of visitors to the Huangpu River location every year — and join the Oriental Pearl TV Tower and the Jin Mao building as Shanghai’s prime skyline icons.
“The city’s planning authority now has a new plan for the land,” said the official. “A one-hundred-meter high office building.”
Ah yes, a high-rise office building. Something else Shanghai sorely needs. And it had better “offer shipping services,” or we are going to get our picket signs out of the attic.
It should be noted that Shanghai’s plans to build the largest versions of everything else in the world other than ferris wheels are going ahead on schedule.
Shanghai Plans to Build World’s Largest Ferris Wheel (People’s Daily, 2002)
Shanghai Ferris wheel to run circles around London Eye (Reuters, 2005)
Shanghai cancels plans to build massive Ferris wheel (Associated Press, 2007)
Photo by seanetnel1.