Over the past years many of the old buildings along the Bund have been turned into entertainment venues. It all started with M on the Bund, but many have followed since. Among them Bund 18 with shops, a top restaurant and a bar with huge terrace, and 3 on the Bund with the Armani flagship store, an art gallery, a spa and many good bars and restaurants. The buildings used to be dilapidated, but are now back to their old grandeur. The Bund looks much better than just 2 years ago.
But now the Shanghai government is planning to interfere in the naming. Why? Because the official streetname is not Bund anymore, but has been changed to Zhongshan Road after 1949. According to the bureaucrats this would be confusing. Furthermore, according to Liu Bo, deputy director of the city’s Place-naming Authority: “The Bund is the name of a signature historic area, and people can’t use it without government permission.”
Confusing? Zhongshan Road is much more confusing to me, because this road runs around half Shanghai. And who of the target customers does not know where the Bund is? I think most of them have no idea that the Bund is officially called Zhongshan Road. Even in taxi’s I normally say Waitan (Chinese for Bund) instead of Zhongshan Lu, because Zhongshan Lu is confusing.
But as usual with this kind of proposals I don’t think much will change. I predict that after one week we won’t hear about this proposed regulation anymore, and in two years all venues will still use their current names.