Sorry in advance about the pictures. This place is the size of a postage stamp. Had to inhale and hold my breath just to get inside. Despite its diminutive size, Urban Cross has some lofty motivations. This is the mission statement on the front door:
"Urban Cross is not only an exhibition space located in the main intersection of Hengfu historical district, but also an online comprehensive information platform. Through multi-media display methods and diversified communication, this multi-usage micro exhibition space will focus on presenting and spreading historical, cultural, and social information of Hengfu, in order to encourage positive interactions between historical memory, current daily life, humanities, social individuals and society...thus promoting comprehensive urban regeneration organically."
Organic, comprehensive urban regeneration. Phew.
Anyway, yeah, Urban Cross is like a little artsy guidebook / science fair presentation sprung to life outlining information regarding this one sub-district in Xuhui, Hengfu, which is the 1.2 square-kilometer area roughly outlined by Changle Lu, Shaanxi Nan Lu, Xingguo Lu, Huaihai Zhong Lu, and Fuxing Zhong Lu. They're addressing the historical landmarks in this, the heart of Shanghai, and the extensive ongoing renovation projects in the area.
Urban Cross outlining their own renovations. The wet market is still right behind them.
One of several "cases" on storefronts being renovated.
It's all pretty celebratory of the ongoing changes happening in the area vis-a-vis the cleaning up and homogenizing of storefronts, as well as ongoing larger commercial renovations. Right in line with the "Shanghai 2035 Blueprint" released by the city government last week.
A brave new world...
The main display is the map of the sub-district in which guests have tacked on their "best memories."
This is the building the SmartShanghai office is in... we'll just leave that one unlabeled.
Sidestepping the politics of "urban development", Urban Cross is a neat little room to check out for residents and frequenters of the area. This is the heart of Xuhui, home to the city's major cultural and historical landmarks, not to mention major shopping, dining, and nightlife areas, as well as the collusion of expat and local populations. At the very least, you can find out whatever happened to your favorite mom and pop store on Xiangyang. The English-language translation is great but not very comprehensive past general titles, however.
Urban Cross is at 31 Donghu Lu, near Xinle Lu.