Picture of the Suzhou Creek from the Zhapu Road Bridge. Photo by Flickr user cnmark.
Coming to Suzhou Creek in August: night cruises! Like its cousins on the Huangpu, the Suzhou Creek cruise will show off its beautiful sites – instead of the Bund and Lujiazui, you get to be treated to old industrial factories from the 1930s, high-rise residential neighborhoods, and even parks.
According to Shanghai Daily, tickets are expected to cost 70 RMB for a 45 minute cruise. The cruise path will be roughly 10 km long and pass by 16 specially reconstructed and renovated regions from Moganshan Lu to Changfeng Park.
The cruises are expected to help Shanghai tourism into and after the Expo. After the dramatic increase of tourists coming for the World Expo, the Putuo District Tourism Bureau hopes this will continue the steady flow of visitors to Shanghai. According to CNNGo, the Suzhou Creek cruises will also help show off the environmental progress that has been made in the area.
At one point, the Suzhou Creek was so polluted that it stank, thanks to the copious amounts of industrial and general city waste. In the 1990s the Shanghai Municipal Government began the “Suzhou Creek Rehabilitation Project,” a reconstruction of the area, which included renovating historical buildings and improving the creek’s water quality. Now, the creek has been purified enough for animals and other organisms to actually survive.
The cleaning of the Suzhou Creek is a product of Shanghai’s increasing environmental awareness. In May 2010 the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau (EPB) and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched AirNow International.
The program allows Shanghai residents to check on the air quality of the city in real-time. The goal of this joint venture is to monitor air quality and decrease air pollution by reducing vehicular and industrial emissions. The EPA and EPB hope that increased cooperation between China and the US will help raise awareness of environmental hazards and address climate change and pollution issues.