To get to the heart of a city, you need a good pair of shoes. Charles Baudelaire used the term `flâneur’ to describe someone who walks through the city to experience it. And nothing beats being shown around by those who have been walking the streets themselves for a while. Let the Shanghai Flaneurs take you on a walk-and-talk experience! As a community service SHANGHAI FLANEUR offers open walks on weekends for individuals, a novel format to explore urban space, involving short lectures, walks to key locations and discussions with our experts.
To join a open walk or register for the newsletter, kindly send a message to Ms. Chu, Yan at ychu(at) or call us @ +86 1381 892 2040 for short notice inquires.
Should you prefer privacy or have a special occasion to celebrate, we also offer all topics as private walks to individuals and families. To arrange a private walk please contact Ms. Chu, Yan at ychu(at)


From Local to Global – in Quest of Shanghai’s Urban and Architectural Identity

Fast-track urbanization has dramatically been changing the faces of Chinese cities during the past decades. For Shanghai as a city with a colonial history “Westernization” or nowadays globalization started even earlier. More and more old Shanghai quarters are being demolished and replaced by ultra-modern high rise buildings and top-notch infrastructure. Suburbs consist of identical residential tower compounds eating their way into the countryside and gradually melting neighboring cities into huge urbanized areas.Will Shanghai turn into a faceless global city that could be anywhere in the world, save a few picturesque protected monuments? Is local contemporary urban planning and architecture in any way “Chinese”, or totally westernized? How does Shanghai compare with other so-called “global cities”?
Our walk starts in the old town at the Confucius Temple, one of Shanghai’s very few remaining examples of traditional Chinese architecture. With some understanding of the underlying design principles and philosophy, we continue our quest through alleys of the old town, trace the former city wall and emerge in modern Shanghai – not the iconic Bund or Lujiazui skyline but the nondescript ubiquitous urban landscape. Traffic chaos, architectural monstrosities, some helpless green in between – let us look beyond all this and find the essence of Shanghai!

Expert: Architect and project manager at the German architectural firm gmp von Gerkan Marg and Partners, Fanny Hoffmann-Loss studied at the Technical University Berlin and at Tongji University Shanghai. Having a strong interest in China, she also studied Mandarin at the Beijing Language Institute in the early 1990s and sinology at the Free University of Berlin. Since 2006, she is working in Shanghai as chief architect and project manager for gmp. As a member of Shanghai Flaneur, Fanny regularly leads study tours and walks for architecture professionals, business people, politicians and academics alike. Learn more about her.

Date & Duration: Saturday, June 23th., 14:00 – 17:00
Cost: RMB 300 p.p., RMB 250 2nd person, RMB 250 p.p. for groups above 3, RMB 180 students
Meeting point: Confucius Temple, 215 Wenmiao Road  (Subway station Laoximen, Line 8 & 10, Exit 7) (Chinese address: 上海文庙,文庙路215号,地铁8号线和10号线老西门站7号出口)