From farmland to skyscrapers: stories between ECNU and Pudong


Can you recognize this place?

The financial district of Lujiazui in Pudong in the 1980s 

The financial district of Lujiazui in Pudong in 2020

Can you believe it?

On 18 April 1990, China declared the development and opening-up of Shanghai’s Pudong area. Since then, Shanghai and Pudong have embarked on their journey of reform and opening-up in the fast lane.

From farmland to skyscrapers,

Pudong showcases China’s achievements

in its reform and opening up initiative

and the modernization of Shanghai.

A grand gathering that celebrates the 30th anniversary ofPudong’s development and opening-up was held in Shanghai on November 12, 2020.

As a university based in Shanghai, ECNU has integrated its own development into the development of the city, sparing no effort to improve the quality of basic education in the Pudong district and build science and technology innovation centers there. Many of the university’s scientific achievements have been put into use in Pudong.

Site selection for the Pudong Airport

In 1995, Professor Chen Jiyu from ECNU, also an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, proposed to build the Pudong Airport on the tidal flat beyond the sea embankment. The site of the airport was thus moved eastward by 640 meters, saving 1,233 acres of agricultural land and a total investment of 360 million yuan.

The construction of Shanghai into a financial center

Prof. Chen Biaoru from ECNU is the first one who proposed the basic framework for the transformation of Shanghai into a financial center. In the early 1980s, he and his team members took the initiative to study international finance, advising on the construction of China’s economic system and the building of Shanghai into an international financial center.

Professor Chen Biaoru

Unmanned port: the port intelligent operation system

In December 2014, working together with the Port of Shanghai and the Computer Department of Fudan University, Prof. Lyu Changhong from ECNU began to work on the operation system for Yangshan Phase 4.

For the ensuing three years, Lyu and his team members applied operational research, the graph theory, and the combination principle to systematic modelling and algorithm design, and the achievements in mathematical research to the work of overhead cranes, automatic stowage, and automated container delivery. With their efforts, Yangshan Phase 4 became the largest fully automated intelligent terminal in the world.

NYU Shanghai settled in Pudong

On September 22, 2012, the Ministry of Education officially approved the establishment of Shanghai New York University (NYU Shanghai) jointly founded by ECNU and New York University. As China’s first independent Sino-U.S. research anddegree-granting university, NYU Shanghai exemplifies Sino-U.S. educational cooperation.

Hua’er Pudong Education Group

In 2002, No.2 High School of ECNU was relocated to the current site in today’s Zhangjiang High-tech Park in Pudong.

No.2 High School of ECNU

In 2018, the school worked with the Education Bureau of the Pudong New Area in founding the nine-year New Bund School Attached to No.2 High School of ECNU in the New Bund area. Meanwhile, the Hua’er Education Group was also established, which consists of the following seven middle schools in Pudong.

  • Dongchang High School attached to ECNU

  • Zhoupu Senior High School attached to ECNU

  • Zhangjiang Experimental School of ECNU

  • Dongchang High School attached to ECNU (South Campus)

  • Shanghai Hua’er Pudong Experimental School

  • The New Bund School attached to No.2 High School of ECNU

  • Wuxun Middle School of Shanghai

Author: Xu Xincheng

Copy editor: Philip Nash

Editor: Siyuan Zhang


East China Normal University