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◊ Housing Overview

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• Housing Areas

  • General
  • Downtown
  • Pudong
  • Hongqiao
  • West Suburbs

The Huangpu River, splits Shanghai in two parts. Pudong means "east" (of the river), it's a big new developed area, and Puxi means "west" (of the river), it normally refers to Downtown and also means "Old Shanghai". Bridges and tunnels connect two sides.

Shanghai has 19 districts, each  is different and abnormal in size or shape, scattered in spacious area of the city and its suburbs. Rather than this complex frame, we have a simple map for expatriate housing areas in Shanghai.

◦ Pudong: wide area east of river, well developed since 1998

◦ Downtown(Puxi): the old town west of river, the city and the center

◦ Hongqiao: area west of Downtown, well developed since 1990

◦ West Suburbs: West out of Hongqiao, recent developments

Further than this, expatriate housings tend to cluster in a few particular locations in each area, in fact most expatriates live in a narrow area (marked in the map) from west to east in Shanghai.

map

Downtown (Puxi)

This is "real" Shanghai, a mixture with old charming taste and modern fashion. Living here is no doubt a bit more exciting, but a little crowded too.  Many nice restaurants, bars, shops, and interesting places are within walking distance.

The particular expatriate living community is a small part in the heart of downtown, mainly in three districts of Xuhui, Jing'an and Luwan. We mark out the general locations in the map by neighborhood as below.

French Concession area (mainly Xuhui District, and part Luwan)
This is the main residential location in Downtown, a classic charming place of old Shanghai, quiet and convenient. Life here is beautiful and peaceful.

Nanjing Xi Lu area (Jing'an District)
It's the commercial heart of the city, with many A-grade offices, top-level shopping mall, great restaurants, bars. Life here is easy and colorful.

Xintiandi & People Square (mainly Luwan District, and part Huangpu)
It's a shopping and business style leisure area. Life here is fashion and hot.

and Other locations as Xujiahui, Zhongshan Park, etc.

Many good apartments gather in downtown to meet variety needs. For people with discerning tastes, those beautiful old houses hiding behind the trees, could be a wonderful home. Practically expatriate singles or couples lean to live in  Downtown if they work in the town.

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Pudong Area

Pudong was nothing but the 'real suburbs' twenty years ago, now it's a new city on the east side of the Huangpu River. More and more large international companies have their offices, R&D centers or factories here, more international schools come to this area to welcome more expatriate families.

Pudong means spacious space, rich greenery and fresh air. It's easy to travel to Downtown through the bridges, tunnels and Metro lines, large supermarkets and a good number of restaurants ad bars make daily life quite convenient, but the real activity life is still in Downtown. 

The particular expatriate housing locations are scattered in spacious Pudong, the wide roads in Pudong make the farthest location still within 30-40 minutes driving distance to the city. Generally by neighborhood as below.

Lujiazui area
It's the new financial and commercial area of Shanghai, just opposite to The Bund along the river. Some high-rise apartments here have great view of the river and old city. Life here is close to Downtown but more bright.

Jinqiao area
It has a name "Green City" - the heart of Pudong and a new expatriate community area. Large supermarkets, restaurants, international schools, and maybe your office are all in walk distance. Life here is pleasant but not crowded.

Century Park area
This is a small area close to Jinqiao area, what make it different is that the Metro station and the biggest park are in walk distance.

Zhangjiang Hi-tech area
Most R&D departments of international companies are set in this area, some universities have new campuses here, but housing supply is not so efficient currently, life here may be a bit scholastic and vacancy.

Kangqiao Town area
This area is particular a re-built new town developed by one real estate group. The town is not so prosperous and expats would rather go to Jinqiao, Lujiazui or Downtown if they don't stay at home. Life here is relax and quiet.

Far East or Far South Pudong
It mean the far locations near sea line in Pudong, still a real suburb.

Most new and large compounds of apartments and villas are in Pudong, as well as a number of international schools.  Practically people working in Pudong live here, but some families are realizing it's not a bad idea to choose living in Pudong and working in downtown.

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Hongqiao Area

Hongqiao was the west suburb just next to Downtown, a small area developed since 1990s as a economic zone and particular expatriate residential area. It covers part of Minhang and Changning Districts, the old airport (now for domestic flights) is on the edge of this area. The first groups expatriate villas in Shanghai are located here, many international schools are in or near this area.

Gubei is the heart of Hongqiao as a typical expatriate community, famous for convenient western living before, it has a lot of apartments which have been the first level residences in Shanghai more than ten years ago but now a bit old. Gubei is also a community of Hongkongs/Taiwans, and Korean or Japanese.

Many small and middle sized expatriate villas compounds are located near Gubei, along with Hongqiao Lu and Hongmei Lu, or around Zoo area with different styles to meet different needs of expat families.

Hongqiao means more fresh air and greenery, less noisy but also close to Downtown and convenient for daily life, it's suitable for expatriate families working both in Downtown or in / out of Hongqiao.

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West Suburbs

This is a wide area in west of Hongqiao, a real suburbs but usually still within 30-50 minutes driving distance to the city.

Because the land supply is limited in Hongqiao, the development goes to the west. Many international schools are situated in or move to West Suburbs, and many large villa compounds are developed in this area recently several years. It has two expatriate housing locations as below:

Huachao Town area (North Minhang District)
Lots of international schools in walking distance, one large compound of apartments and several large villa compounds provide efficient housings for expatriate families who like countryside style life plus children walking to school.

Huqingping Ave area (Qingpu District)
The new European Campus - the French and German School moved to this area, and many expatriate families with children to this school follow up. This area actually is an extending of Hongqiao along the Huqingping Ave, there are plenty of villa compounds for expatriate families who plan to move out from Hongqiao, on same rental you can have double sized house & garden here.

For the reason of simplification, when we refer to West Suburbs on expatriate housing area, it normally means the whole area out of Hongqiao in Puxi side,  including south-west and far south-west areas, where Sheshan Town and Tianmashan Town, Xinzhuang and Xinqiao Town located, the area may cover Qingpu, Minhang and Songjiang Districts.

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