Shanghai – A Story in Urbanization

In my time in Shanghai, something quite interesting emerged. Almost 99% of the people I met had no roots in the city of Shanghai where they now live. They came here for a job or for school from Africa, Southeast Asia, America, Europe, or other parts of China.

I also asked every one I met: “Do you plan to stay in Shanghai?” Once again 99% of those I talked to said “no.”

The world is moving to the cities.

2008 was the first year in which more than half of the world’s population lived in cities, and that number is quickly rising.

Shanghai is a stunning example of urbanization.

With 11,000,000 residents and no high rises in 1980, Shanghai now has 24,000,000 residents and 4000 skyscrapers (twice as many as New York City)!

In an article called “Shanghai’s Pudong District on the Rise,” Brian Pagnotta writes:

“A mere farmland just 18 years ago, Pudong now comprises of 35 structures that are over 200 meters tall and two that are over 400 meters, the Oriental Pearl T.V. Tower (468m) and the Shanghai World Financial Center (492m)…. Even more impressive is Shanghai Tower, which is expected to be the country’s tallest skyscraper upon completion… designed to reach an eventual height of 632 meters.”

Check out these amazing pictures from an article called Shanghai: 1990 vs. 2010 (2010 does not include the new Shanghai Tower!)


shanghai china


shanghai china


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