Up to the 1990s, as far as I can tell, the area of the former French Concession appears to have been the only large part of Shanghai where the streets had plentiful trees. The French had planted a lot of what are generally called plane trees (though I believe somebody told us they were not really plane trees). Bare concrete predominated elsewere in the city. But a major beautification program was launched in the mid to late 1990s. It is still proceeding. An attractive little park near our hotel appeared to be of very recent construction; there were still props holding up recently transplanted trees. But whereas this seemed the norm in 2002, it was growing less common by 2005; more of the plantings we saw had been in place long enough no longer to need the props.
The demolition of buildings to create People's Park, in the heart of the city, had begun about 1995. It seemed well established by 2005.
Even the elevated highways leading toward the domestic airport had shrubbery along their sides, in rectangular planters. I had seen the same thing along some elevated highways in 2002.
Along the sides of the highway leading to the international airport were newly transplanted trees.
In the median, shrubbery in two-color patterns.
Beautifying Shanghai with Trees and Shrubs (this page consists of photos I took in 2002)
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Copyright © 2005, Edwin E. Moïse. Revised June 18, 2005.