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Revitalizing the Hangzhou section of the Grand Canal: A cultural, economic renaissance

www.ehangzhou.gov.cn| Updated: June 24, 2024 L M S


A bird's-eye view of the Hangzhou section of the Grand Canal. [Photo/WeChat account: zjnewsapp]

The millennia-old Grand Canal continues to invigorate new life along its banks.

Historically, the Grand Canal has been a vital economic artery, fostering development from grain transport to industrial hubs. Today, this lifeline is expanding the cultural economy of Hangzhou's Grand Canal.

In 2007, as part of Hangzhou's major industrial restructuring, Hangzhou Heavy Machinery Factory relocated to Lin'an, and the original site began its transformation into the vibrant Suntiandy commercial block. After more than a decade of development, the once-quiet industrial relic has taken on new life as a bustling hub of activity.

At the southern end of Hangzhou's Grand Canal, Xiaoshan district has also embraced a cultural shift. In just over two years, the historical and cultural district around the Xiaoshan West Railway Station has been elevated to provincial-level status. This success is driven by leveraging social capital to preserve and utilize the canal's heritage, creating open cultural and creative blocks like Zhenong Dongchao Art Park. Over the course of two years, Dongchao alone has hosted over 300 cultural events, tapping into the youthful energy of the city.

Along the canal, this youthful vitality is transforming Hangzhou into a city of innovation. Historic industrial sites like Hangzhou Steelworks Factory, Hangzhou Oxygen Plant, Hangzhou Boiler Plant, and Hangzhou Silk Reeling Factory are being revitalized into creative hubs, cultural districts, and e-sports parks.

As Dongchao Art Park's operations director Hu Chao puts it, "Dongchao is fertile ground, allowing professionals to freely express their imagination and creativity." This principle is reflected throughout the Hangzhou section of the Grand Canal, where cultural and economic synergy is fostering new industries and creating new possibilities.


Gongchen Bridge. [Photo/WeChat account: hangzhoudaily]

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