Artists impression of the Shanghai Tower on Liverpools waterfront
The bond between Liverpool and Shanghai could soon be set to tighten if planning permission is granted for a Lujiazui style skyscraper, the ‘Shanghai Tower’, to be built smack bang in the middle of Liverpool’s historical waterfront.
It sounds a little silly, until we researched a bit further and found out that, because of those trade links established in the 1800’s, Liverpool is home to the oldest ethnic Chinese population within Europe. Back then, sailors, primarily from Shanghai, settled in Liverpool.
Economic links strengthened after the twinning of the cities and the formation of the Liverpool Shanghai Partnership (LSP) created to improve the ties before the Expo. In order to pay homage to its sister city, plans for a 60 storey skyscraper have been submitted. If permission is granted, the ‘Shanghai Tower’ will dominate the Mersey waterfront and will be part of a £5.5 billion redevelopment zone. In a further attempt to lure Chinese investors to Liverpool, it would be the largest building in the UK outside of London
English Heritage and UNESCO are less than happy about the plans though, as they are worried that it will diminish the heritage site, and quite rightly so. The historical Liverpool waterfront, home to Albert Dock and the Three Graces, has only recently been modernized with the development of Liverpool One. Whilst Shanghai can revel in the quirkiness of the ‘old Bund’ and ‘new Pudong’ at the same time, Liverpool just does not possess the size (and dare we say, character) to ‘host’ such a striking contrast.
Plans for the ‘Shanghai Tower’ are still waiting approval. But even if they are approved, the building will not be completed until at least 2025. We don’t have to wait that long, however, to witness the lovey dovey eyes Liverpool has been throwing at Shanghai.
Smaller Earth, a company based in Liverpool, is offering one Shanghainese the chance to travel the world for free for a year. Funded by a Liverpool businessman, a lucky enterprising person from Shanghai could be in the running for an all expenses paid 12 month trip around the World. A competition, ‘Your Big Year’ is being run in order to encourage global citizenship through enterprise. The competition is in the form of an online quiz (which actually expires on the 8th at noon, if you want to try it out quick) where participants will have to answer questions about Liverpool and the city’s presence at the World Expo. The lucky winner will be unveiled on the UPBA Liverpool Day (October 16th).
The love seems a little lopsided though: China was hoping to take over the Liverpool Football Club but pulled out after ‘slow negotiations’.