Shanghai, China Overview

Shanghai, China Overview

According to abbreviationfinder, Shanghai [ ʃ a ŋ ha ɪ also ʃ a ŋ ha ɪ ]; »City over the Sea«], officially Chinese in Latin letters Shanghai [ ʃ a ŋ xa  ], city in East China, with (2017) 20.9 million residents one of the largest cities in China.

As an administrative area, Shanghai is a provincial city with direct government, the administrative area of ​​which is divided into 16 urban districts and one county on an area of ​​6,341 km 2 with (2018) 24.2 million residents. The entire administrative area also includes 30 islands in the Yangtze and East China Sea.

The city is located in the Yangtze River Delta 3–5 m above sea level on the southern estuary, 50 km from the sea. The central district and the most important traditional industrial areas are to the west of Huangpu Jiang, which runs in the Nazi direction, whereas its west-east running tributary Suzhou largely divides the urban area into a southern and a northern district.

Besides Beijing, Shanghai is China’s leading educational center with several universities (including Fudan, Tongji and Jiaotong universities), numerous colleges, a department of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, many research institutions, large museums (including Shanghai Museum of Cultural History, Natural History Museum, Revolution Museum), astronomical Observatory, libraries and publishing houses as well as theaters (including Shanghai Grand Theater). Shanghai, the largest industrial center in China, generates around 3% of the total Chinese gross domestic product (GDP). Dominant industrial sectors are machine, electrotechnical and electronic plant and device construction, vehicle and shipbuilding, iron smelting (Baoshan) and in particular of non-ferrous metal ores, petrochemical, pharmaceutical, textile and clothing, electronic, telecommunications and others. Industry. A nuclear power plant has existed in Qinshan since 1991. The opening of the city to foreign investments (since 1984) and the creation of economic and technical development zones resulted in a modernization of industry. Sectors of the future such as biotechnology, environmental technology and logistics are growing particularly rapidly. In the greater Shanghai region, research facilities for international companies are accelerating. Shanghai’s prominent role as a service, financial and trade center was strengthened by the creation of a free trade area and the reopening of the stock exchange (1992). The economic share (GDP) of the tertiary sector in Shanghai rose from 32% (1990) to 59.4% (2011). Shanghai is thus increasingly changing from an industrial to a service center in the country with a growing and differentiated spectrum (from trade to an international financial sector).


In the 19th and early 20th centuries, foreign companies and banks settled in the extra-territorial foreign branches. The “Bund” (today Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu), the embankment along the Huangpu Jiang, is a testimony to this period. with the former building of the central administration of the Chinese maritime customs in Tudor style (with a 33 m high tower and a bell clock imitating the London Westminster tower), the Peace Hotel (Heping Fandian) and other buildings in the style of Art Deco and early modernism. During this time, the traditional concert hall (originally built as a cinema in 1930) was built in the western style, which was reopened in 2004 after extensive renovation and relocation of around 70 m. In 1930, a representative administrative center was established in the northeast of the city in the Jiangwan district. while the west of the city became the terrain for experimentation in modern European avant-garde architecture. South of the federal government is the old town (Nandao) with narrow streets. Well-known historical grounds include the Yu Yuan Garden, north of the old town, the Mandarin’s Garden Yu from the 16th century, with the old tea house Huxin-Ting located in an artificial lake with access via a zigzag bridge. In the southwest of Shanghai the Longhua Temple with a seven-story pagoda from the Song period (960–1279). To the west, the Temple of Jade Buddha (19th century, destroyed in 1911, rebuilt 1918–28); in the north of the Hongkou Gongyuan Park with the tomb of the writer Lu Xun.

Since the 1980s there has been rapid urban renewal (including renovations and extensions on the “Bund” and in Huaihai Lu, 1992/93), to which part of the old town fell victim. Buildings of superlatives are increasingly defining the city skyline: in addition to the 421 m high “Jin Mao Tower” completed in 1998 (by Chicago architects SOM), above all the 494 m high “Shanghai World Financial Center”, which was inaugurated on August 28, 2008 (architectural firm Kohn, Pedersen and Fox, New York). The groundbreaking for an even bigger, 632 m high skyscraper, the “Shanghai Tower” (Gensler Architecture, San Francisco), took place on November 29, 2008 (completion 2014). The new Shanghai Museum (1993–96, by Xing Tonghe) and a new opera house (1994–98) built. The key points of the modern urban development concept include the Pudong district with its landmark, the 468 m high television tower (completed in 1994), and the residential, work and leisure center for around 500,000 residents in the Lujiazui district, the master plan of which was developed by R. Rogers’ office in 1992-94. The construction of Nanhui New City also belongs in the same context, an ideal city designed on the drawing board by the architects Gerkan, Marg & Partner for 600,000 to 800,000 residents about 60 km southwest of the city center (2003 ff.; moved gradually since 2005).

Shanghai, China Overview

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