(Photo: Wenzhou Municipal People's Government)
When night falls on the city, citizens go out for a walk, exercise, party or watch shows. Treadmills in the gym are all occupied and those who can't go home eat instant noodles in convenience stores. Lights illuminate both the busy streets and the buildings in bustling blocks. This is the ordinary but lively beginning of Wenzhou's "night-time economy".
This summer, "night-time economy" becomes a buzz word that marks the new highlight and "soft power" of the growth of the city's economy. The mountains and rivers along the Oujiang River amidst fusing lights and shadows; the flowing Nantang River, Nantang Street, Bailuzhou Park combine history and modernity; and the antique Wuma Block with ancient European style. All these cultual landscapes are the highlight of Wenzhou's "Night-time economy" that brightens the civil life. Culture is the essence and core of the city. And the cultural consumption, just like the most shining star in the sky, lightens the whole city and its "Night-time economy".
A night tour alongside the Oujiang River to feast on the artistic culture
The picturesque Wenzhou boasts one of the best views in the world. When it comes to 8 o'clock at night, residents will gather by the guardrail at the light observation platform on Oujiang Road to enjoy the cool breeze.
A light show will be staged on time every night on the mountains, illuminating the night sky. The mountain light show will change its color and its content constantly. Citizens and tourists are overwhelmingly delighted by the light and shadow of this moment, taking photos from time to time. In the distance, the luxury cruise ship moves slowly on the river. The landscape, celebrities, history, and Chinese characters it presents, along with the lights from the coastal buildings and bridges, tell the magical landscapes and the legendary humanistic scene of Wenzhou.
The art of lighting instills the night in Wenzhou with vigor and vitality, giving tourists a "cultural feast".
After the overall planning, construction and operation at earlier stage, Wenzhou Oujiang Brightening Night Tour Project was lighted up in October last year and started selling tickets in May this year. So far, the project has received wide attention and praises from the public. In the past two months when it was cozy at night and the citizens were used to going out to enjoy the cool, the night tour on Oujiang River became a new way for many citizens to cool off.
"Before the typhoon arrived, the cruise ship was almost full every day. The night tour project is popular among the young and middle-aged people. We also organized and carried out various activities, such as the Double Seventh Festival Party, to create a platform for closer interpersonal relationship and cultural communication," introduced Wang Yu, Marketing Director of Wenzhou Liangye Environmental Technology Co., Ltd., who is responsible for the operation of the project.
Not far from the light observation platform, an art exhibition called "Chromatic Threshold" is under way at HOW Art Museum in Onehome Howard Johnson Hotel Wenzhou. As the first "Night Art Museum", HOW Art Museum is opened at night until 10 pm, which arouses the artistic enthusiasm of many local citizens.
"Given the fast pace and efficiency of contemporary life, HOW Art Museum hosts 'Night Museum' in order to offer citizens innovative and inspiring opportunities for leisure, refreshing and temperament cultivation during their leisure time. It makes the city's nightlife more colorful and worthy, and better realizes the publicity of the gallery," said Zhang Li, Vice Director of the art museum.
Night tour in Dananli Cultural and Creative Block, a popular, cultural and commercial block
Nowadays, the neighborhood of Nantang Street and Bailuzhou Park at night can be regarded as one of the representative districts of Wenzhou - a sleepless city. It is more typical of the Tanghe River culture to taste delicious food, have entertainment and chats, and go shopping against the backdrop of the lightened city surroundings in the future.
Shanqian River, the tributary of Wenzhou's mother river Wenruitang River, flows quietly at the foot of Xun Mountain, where several houses with black bricks and gray tiles are equally well-lit and full of hubbub. This is Dananli Slow Life Block, which is close to Nantang Street. When you come here, you will easily find it to be a unique cultural and creative block, with the names and decoration styles of the stores always "reminding" the guests of the right way to enjoy life with leisure and slow pace.
(Photo: Wenzhou Municipal People's Government)
The Cultural and Creative Bookstore and Aesthetics Center in Dananli Block are more a place for resting then selling and purchasing. Hu Jun, Chairman of Dananli Cultural and Creative Development Co., Ltd, told us that by building such a cultural and creative block of slow life amid the city's hustle and bustle, they hope to give busy citizens a place to find inner peace.
At a press conference recently, Lucheng District Integrated Administration Execution Bureau launched 10 supporting measures for the development of the "Night-time economy", which will not only meet diversified and multilevel consumer demands, but also enhance the quality of life and contribute to the power, popularity and reputation of Wenzhou.
Taking advantage of the historical opportunity that the country vigorously supports the development of the cultural industry, Wenzhou has attained innumerable achievements in the cultural industry, such as Dawn 92, Nantang Impression and Dananli Cultural and Creative Block. Those popular cultural and creative blocks with commercial atmosphere are ideal destinations for night leisure activities and cultural landmarks of Wenzhou, boosting night-time economy and secondary consumption in Wenzhou.
Night tour of Wuma Block enlivens the night-time of the city
Last National Day, Wuma Historical and Cultural Block was set up officially. The two streets, Chan Street and Wuma Street, all too familiar to Wenzhou citizens, received their newborn. In the past, Chan Street, adjacent to Wuma Street, was jammed with more vehicles than people during daytime. Every night after school, shops on the street were closed off and traffic faded away, leaving only street lamps on.
Now, Chan Street is synonymous with "culture" in urban areas for its R.O.C.（Republic of China,1912-1942) style, its ancient cultures like Ancient Examination Hall culture and Number One Scholar culture inherited from Wenzhou Normal College, and various band performances, folklore culture exhibitions and festival theme activities. Walking on the street, you can fully enjoy the traditional street scenery: artistic concrete, old black bricks and tiles, wooden wall panels, and plant walls. When night descends, visitors troop before the kiosk, next to the pottery jars and under the outdoor umbrella. Now the street is no longer silent and dim after dark. Rather, it is harmonious and bright.
Around the Wuma Block, City's Studies can be seen everywhere. By the end of May this year, Wenzhou has 76 City's Studies covering a total area of 11,800 square meters, with a collection of 698,100 books. They are open 22 hours a day on average and have received a total of 7.04 million readers, with the book circulation rate as high as 380%. The improvement of the public cultural system brings benefits to people and drives forward the cause of Wenzhou culture. The lights in the City's Studies see residents' desire for a rich spiritual and cultural life.
"Policies introduced by the government to encourage the 'Night-time Economy' are strong incentives to improve Wenzhou's night-time economy. We are committed to beautifying and enriching night view, increasing merchants' income and contributing to Wenzhou's prosperity." said Hu Jun.
"Taking part in activities like gallery exhibitions will get one more involved, stimulate his initiative and help express his unique pursuits and tastes. More social resources are needed to let the public know about galleries and gradually develop the habit of visiting galleries." said Zhang Li.
As the cultural consumption plays an increasingly more important role in Wenzhou's "night-time economy", "starlight" will continuously light up the city's "Night-time Economy".