The Story


New Ways of Learning: SHANGHAI FLANEUR was launched in 2009 just before the start of the Shanghai World Expo in 2010, offering ‘Talks, Walks, Learning Programs in the City on the City.

The idea originated from the observation that despite the wealth of knowledge available on the city, with many experts having done research on key aspects related to its culture, history or built environment, there was no available platform making this knowledge accessible to the public at the time.

What started as a cultural project at the side now became a flagship program offered by CONSTELLATIONS: SHANGHAI FLANEUR, with its network of passionate Chinese and international experts keen on transmitting their knowledge about their city, can be seen as a unique China context knowledge provider.

The walks and talks fit a variety of purposes, bundling in-depth insights, charismatic experts, interactive format, experiential learning for a wide range of needs: visiting programs, trend scouting sessions, team building activities, executive learning programs and innovation workshops in the city.


Shanghai-Flaneur and designer Roman Wilhelm found a city map of the year 1932 in the facsimile reprint of a Shanghainese commercial register. This map does not only show each tiny little shop, but also the different floors of department stores and office buildings. One way of writing “Shanghai” in this reprint caught his special attention. Both characters are slightly inspired by the Art-Deco cuneiform writing and brought him to an idea.

chinese caracter of shanghai flaneru

“Shang” means “up, on top, above” and “Hai” means “sea”. The impression of a stamp reflects these characters in the shape of streets. The upper part “Shang” symbolizes the new, straight, growing part of the modern city and its development. The lower part “Hai” stands for the old, contorted, grown part of the city that has already existed on the map mentioned above.

One part cannot exist without the other one. Even though the city is in a rapid change, it still remains true to itself.

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