When I designed un Nimweegs rondje, I pondered how best to achieve an optimal balance of the various ingredients of a good run through an interesting landscape. Cityscapes are landscapes too, and the same need to compromise applies. There isn’t a universally optimal balance between traffic-free, running surface, green, number and diversity of sites and length, it all depends on what one wants from the run. That differs from runner to runner but also from time to time.
But today’s big circuit from home through Pudong (with a small detour across the Huangpu river into Shanghai‘s Hongkou district) got it right for most runners and purposes. I don’t think one can get much more traffic-free, green stretches in a long Pudong run than this. And the diversity of cityscape traversed is respectable. The run visits 1980s Pudong neighborhoods, an area with shipyards, Hongkou’s street markets and a traditional neighborhood in the middle of being knocked down, the Huangpu river side – lots of it walking promenade – between the two major bridges of the city, the Manhattan of Shanghai (Lujiazui financial district), with close-up views of its three towers, and a stretch through popular Grand mall, long traffic-free stretches along the Zhangjiabang river connecting the sea with the Huangpu, Pudong’s large Century park as well as the impressive Science and Technology museum square with its view toward the beginning of Century Avenue, the Champs Elysee of Shanghai/Pudong. Great route for a full day of running-the-city sightseeing.