Matt Mayer of Exploremetro.com
Matt Mayer is a British web and mobile developer for ReignDesign who has lived in Shanghai for 4 years. He is the man behind ExploreShanghai, the No. 1 online Shanghai metro map which is also now available as an iPhone app.
1. The Shanghai Metro
It’s hard to believe now, but in 1999 the Shanghai Metro only had one line. After a decade of construction, we now have nine lines under the city, and the next few months will see the biggest expansion yet! By the New Year, an extension to Line 9 into Pudong; and the brand new Line 11 which will stretch north from Jiangsu Road to the F1 circuit in Jiading.
Then in early 2010 we should see a spate of openings: the new Line 10 running from Hongqiao Airport through the city centre (including Yuyuan, Xintiandi and Shanghai Library); Line 2 extensions east and west to both airports; a further northern extension to the new Line 7, and finally Line 13, providing direct access to the EXPO zone.
By Expo time, with 430 kilometers of lines, Shanghai should be the longest metro system in the world, surpassing London and New York!
2. Eduardo Vargas’ empire
It seems the prolific Peruvian restaurateur could do no wrong in 2009, openingopening numerous new restaurants including Vargas Grill, Balthazar, Bistro Burger and Brasa Chicken.
One thing we can be sure of is that the great man won’t be resting on his laurels in 2010. Indeed if present trends continue, Vargas outlets may outnumber KFCs by 2020.
3. iPhone hype
After lengthy negotiations, China Unicom finally launchedlaunched the iPhone officially in China in late 2009. The launch was something of a damp squib: the device was more expensive that imported black-market phones, had no wifi, and locked buyers into a long-term contract, a no-no in China where many people prefer topup cards.
Despite the shaky start, we predict that interest in iPhones and iPhone apps will increase in the next year, as Unicom introduce a new device with wifi and more flexible payment systems. Also, more iPhone apps will be developed within China catering for the home market.
4. People in Haibao costumes
There will be no escaping Expo hype in 2010, as years of preparation should finally pay off and the world’s eyes turn to Shanghai. That means the big blue mascot Haibao will never be far away, on TV, online and in person. While some have cruelly compared him to a giant condom, Haibao happily continues to cross cultural boundaries. If you see him, give him a hug. OrOr do otherwise.
5. The Bund
The Bund is one of the most famous landmarks of Shanghai. The famous riverfront with dozens of historical buildings and great views of Pudong has for many years had a busy 8-lane highway separating the waterfront promenade from the architectural highlights like the HSBC Building and Customs House.
The good news is that for 2010, remodeling work on Zhongshan Dong Yi Road should be completed, burying part of the road in a new tunnel, and dramatically increasing the pedestrianized area. The walk along the length of the Bund is about to get a lot more pleasant!