Shanghai, China

by Zhu Linchu and Qian Zhi

The pace of urbanisation in China since 1978, together with the implementation of the Economic Reform and Opening Up Policy and rapid economic growth, has been fairly fast. Cities - big, medium-sized and small - have all undergone a period of construction and redevelopment.

Shanghai, one of the largest cities in China, sits midway down China's coastline, where the country's longest river, the Yangtze, or Chang Jiang, pours into the sea. The city, at the mouth of the Yangtze River delta, has the East China Sea to its east, the Hangzhou Bay to the south, while behind it is the vast span of China's interior landmass. Shanghai's geographical location facilitates all forms of transport, with first-rate sea and river ports combined with the huge water transportation network, well-developed railways and roads, and two large international airports, which no other Chinese city has.

The total area of Shanghai at the end of 2001 was 6,340.5 km2, covering 18 districts, one county, 144 zhen, 3 xiang, 99 sub-districts, 3,407 residents committees, and 2,699 village committees. Shanghai occupies 0.06 per cent of the national area and houses 1.31 per cent of the national population, producing 5.16 per cent of national income. Its GDP per capita has reached US$4,510, which is 4.96 times the national average.
This summary has been extracted from:

UN-Habitat (2003) Global Report on Human Settlements 2003, The Challenge of Slums, Earthscan, London; Part IV: 'Summary of City Case Studies', pp195-228.
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2003 Development Planning Unit | Anna Soave | Khanh Tran-Thanh