Shanghai expat impressed at city's development pace

Updated: May 20, 2021 By XING YI in Shanghai Print
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Martin Wawra, managing director of Voith Turbo China, has been living in Shanghai since 2011, but he still remembers when he looking at Pudong from the Bund in 1998.

"There were only a few buildings," he recalled. "I couldn't imagine that Pudong would develop so quickly and turn into a mega city in such a short time."

Wawra made the comments in the video series "Shanghai Through Our Eyes".

"The city and its people are dynamic. If you haven't been in an area for three or four months, some things have changed when you come back," he said.

"This is also the spirit of the people, they are also looking for something new.
They want to learn… If they don't learn something, they will get bored."

While impressed by the pace of skyscrapers sprouting across the landscape, Wawra also appreciates the renovation and restoration of the old buildings in Shanghai.

Every city faces the problem of how to retain its old architectures as it develops, said Wawra, adding that Shanghai has done a good job in renovating traditional buildings with new materials while keeping the old structures.

Wawra also praised Shanghai for its environmental protection, such as the greenery added to the city over the years, and the improving air quality. "You can see the government is paying a lot of attention to improve it," he said.

Speaking of the country's pledge of carbon neutrality in 2060, Wawra said, "It's an ambitious goal, and I'm sure China will achieve it.

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