Shanghai City Making Essay

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Shanghai is one of Asia's fastest growing and most exciting mega cities and has confirmed its status as a world's largest financial hub in the last two decades. The theme of the annual forums is to create the power of the city virtues in order to make the best of the city accessible. Urbanization is known by the populace as the extension of a metropolitan region. It is not to be treated as a modern phenomenon; it is preferably a radical historical metamorphosis on a global scale for human social and economic roots. Shanghai is among the direct-controlled cities of China with a population of more than 24 million people and can be regarded as the most developed metropolis in China. The dazzling megacity sits on a middle portion of the east China coast. The mega polis has the world’s busiest container port and also serves as a global financial Centre. During the nineteenth century, the city grew significantly due to trade and its convenient port location and people perceived it to have an economic potential. However, in the early 1950s with the acquisition of the mainland by the communist party trade was limited to other socialist countries; this plunged the city’s global influence to deteriorate. Such actions led to stunted growth in Shanghai, and its economy continued to decline as well. Fortunately, with the light of economic reforms in 1990, an extreme redevelopment of the city began; it brought both international and finance investment back, hence booming the local economy.

Urbanization in Shanghai is attributed to its culture style. During the process of modernization, various western cultures clashed with the Chinese customs, which led to the emergence of a new religion known as Shanghai culture. The unique culture structured a contrast to that of Beijing style. It seemed to be enjoying massive popularity, hence welcomed more investors around the region. Shanghai culture catered for more people than the Beijing style and consequently led to more incorporated and popular reforms. The new religion harmoniously integrated things of distinct nature, and people started to appreciate its broader possibilities. The new culture catered for the Chinese people at home and for the new visitors coming into the region from overseas. This made the visitors feel welcomed and felt that their religion was also respected. It also promoted intentions and exploration of new ideas since both cultures found themselves looking for solutions to immediate problems.

Shanghai was viewed as the center for businessmen, whereas Beijing was the capital rich with officials, who served the country. Therefore, Shanghai had to always satisfy the needs of its respective residents, who mostly were businessmen. The modernization of Shanghai, which commenced with commerce, hence promoting their economy, antagonized traditional values and neglected their tenets of, emphasizing righteousness and neglecting benefits. The directed change in economics not only led the city managers to change their values but also learn to uphold positive benefits and taking the particular action. The commercial culture was fragile since not many people received the reforms wholeheartedly. The formation of the Shanghai style during the mid-19th century to mid-20th century proves to have bestowed a great deal to the current urbanization in China.


Shanghai’s growth is also attributed to its location which sits on the North-South coastline of China. It serves as the primary gateway to inland China and is one of the major trading ports. Its strategic location and all the industries it hosts to assist in the economy of the country. By being closer to the ocean, it invites new foreigners from within and abroad making them feel accessible to the ocean for any importation and exportation.


Tourism is a contributing factor to the development and emergence of the city of Shanghai. Tourism in a country is necessary, as it gets many visitors coming to the state to learn a new culture. Shanghai has been a critical host of many different traditional festivals and customs in 2000, when it hosted Shanghai Biennale art exhibition among many others. The city also has some attraction sites such as the Oriental Pearl Tower, which reaches a height of 468m and even the Shanghai World Financial Center.

Foreign Investment

Among many factors that contribute to high urbanization in Shanghai, is their policy. The central government is planning to allow Shanghai to become a free trade zone. This will assist Shanghai city in upgrading its economic structure and hence aid it in its leading role in East Asia region. This will improve the level and efficiency of China’s opening and boosts the country’s economy. This is considered a significant move from abroad, hence making the city an attraction site for foreigners and investors. The policy will help promote the entire industrial level for both Shanghai and its more significant surrounding regions around Yangtze River delta region. A more transparent environment for service sector may be opened up to facilitate Shanghai's goal as a global financial hub. The goal is to enhance interregional industrial cooperation and decrease the market obstacles present. In a free trade zone, capital and other commodities can be processed, imported and exported without the management of the customs authorities. Such interactions between Shanghai and other cities may act as a trendsetter for China's modernization.

In conjunction with the introduction of a free trade zone in Shanghai, the administrative powers have undertaken more measures in attracting foreign investors in their soils. The authorities created a platform and an online network for investors from overseas to trace their applications for their existing businesses or for new investors who were planning to venture. The platforms aim to update the investors of their application procedures and help improve efficiency whereby it also saves time. Before the invention of the platform, many applicants were frustrated and led to withdrawals of their applications and seeking alternatives. With such favorable conditions for the foreign policies, investment tends to thrive in the region.


Population management has become one of the trending topics of discussion by policy researchers. The municipal governments are emphasizing the need to manage populations in their metropolitan areas. Due to many economic amendments, there has been a rise in job opportunities in the city, hence attracting more migrants from within China or abroad, seeking the job opportunities. This leads to a progressive increase of a population within the urban area. A phenomenon that accompanies urbanization is migration, as the big developing cities become a target for many. Higher population in the city still hinders urbanization. Shanghai attaches greater importance to urban layout and discourages or limits people from living in the city. The central government uses the capital for maximum industrialization to ensure the city’s capacity is fully optimized, whereas encouraging workers in the city to live in the suburbs regions of the town. The central government in the city has begun relocating people to the satellite towns.

Pressure from industrialization and rapid economic development, Shanghai now reclaims more land for their urban expansion and promising economy. Research showed from 1949-2010 that much property has been recovered for industrialization purposes. The changes of land usage in Shanghai became consistent with other cities. Before that, the cultivated land had the most extensive area seconded by building soils then water bodies. The increment of land use is to cater for residential areas in the suburbs regions and provide room for any upcoming factories.

The central government took an initiative of building up a bridge and hub, where it linked the domestic markets to the overseas markets. this is the setup of the new modern market system, where the buyer and seller must not necessarily meet to conduct their trade. The government proposed the city commodity market shall become the heart and central market in the country and one of the recognized and exalted markets in the world. With their upcoming technology, the key would be to create a world network of economic integration. The Shanghai’s stock exchange is one of the leading stocks markets in Asia Pacific region and a guarantee trading center in China.

The Shanghai government stressed on nurturing new and advancing technology to become new engines for economic is crucial to encourage the innovation of technology and mechanisms of industrial application. This information was passed to the iron and steel industry, as well as the petrochemical industry, to aid them in an adopting advancing technology to transform the traditional sectors. The satellite towns were encouraged to take advantage of their abundant resources such as physical infrastructure and agricultural land. This would assist them in the modernization of agriculture due to their proximity to Shanghai and also create more employment opportunities for the migrants in the satellite towns.

Infrastructure is a vital key to rapid urbanization. In a megacity, the “soft” foundations should be provided to cater for increasing population. Such services include hospitals and schools. Shanghai’s central government offers such services in the city and its immediate outskirts, where their workers mostly reside. Most schools are beginning to be transferred from the city and relocated to the satellite towns in the area. The government believes this is a good move in preventing decongestion of the town and with all the noise pollution around the city; it is not convenient for the students. Many hospitals are being also constructed around factories and residential homes to bring quality health closer to the people around in case of any emergencies. The city is planning to create a multi-layer public health, whereby the hospitals shall offer disease prevention, medical treatment and also form a social security service system which features a well-developed network. The local ecological environment shall also be improved. All these objectives intend to provide a sustainable environment to ensure significant development and also harmonize its advantages.

Modernization of city’s infrastructure has assisted Shanghai to become a global hub for investors. Shanghai pleasures in its diverse economy of automobile manufacturing, communications, iron, and steel construction biomedicine, electronics and information manufacturing, finance real estate and insurance. The city government has built international airports (Pudong and Hongqiao) in order to provide air services at home and abroad for any trades going around within the region and constructed a multi-functional seaport with the Shanghai harbor at the core. The dock has served the country and the city significantly as many containers from importation and exportation dispatch from there.

Being a home of global trade, Shanghai has adopted a critical a key policy challenge to become and still stay competitive with other leading cities. For urbanization to keep going on, it has to be competitive, where each day there is development. Much analysis proves that there are three vital economic benefits to urbanization. These are economies of scale, where the size of markets helps reduce input costs of more substantial means of production; localization economies, in which industries improve their overall output through sharing inputs and urbanization economies, where markets and contributions are shared. If this is realized, it would lead to the formation of newer the scope of production and sustain new job opportunities. Shanghai has been employing such measures, which assist it to stay afloat in the globalizing economy and increases its urbanization.

Convenient and favorable policies from the central government have considerably provided drastic developments in Shanghai. They can continue to help the metropolitan in their economic strategies by boosting and funding researcher’s institutes. Such sectors include biomedicine industry. These efforts will foster the growth of advanced technologies hence increasing more quality output leading to a significant rise in their economy. Provision of suitable legal environment will provide a proper working are for the investors and will help them build their confidence.

Long Term Vision

The decision makers in the city should always push for a sustainable development: this meets the needs of present generation without compromising ability of future generations to fulfill their aspirations. The vision of the city should not only represent physical growth but also economic and ecological effects. Infrastructure and technological initiatives should also be supported by the central government. This will continue bringing more investors, who may want to pursue their businesses much more later.

Urbanization in Shanghai has also led to grave environmental problems including its environmental pollution and climatic and ecological effects. Shanghai’s air quality is deteriorating due to a high number of construction projects, which are on-going, and also emissions by vehicles. The current atmospheric air present around this region has now seen school children mostly kept indoors to protect them from the developing polluted air. Many companies have been ordered to cut their levels of production, and also some flights have been barred. Air pollution is a lethal problem and also leads to breathing problems. Water pollution is another major problem experienced in Shanghai. Many factories discharge their chemical wastes into water bodies without treating them. This is a severe health condition which has not been given many priorities. The remedies to this are to fit filters into taps focusing on the ways to recycle and clean water sources.

Following traffic congestion strictly is also becoming an acute problem in Shanghai. Many workers complain due to the jamming in the area causing them to be late for work. Shanghai should implement a reform to decongest the city. The government should copy the program being executed by London and Singapore, where they charge drivers, who travel more into the city at peak hours. They also should try and educate young people on the need for using public transport system to cities rather than using their cars leading to congestion.


Urbanization should be regarded as one of the most apparent anthropogenic forces on Earth. Accompanied by a rapid acceleration of economic development Shanghai has experienced an important alter in its population. Shanghai has proved to manage the demand for urbanization more efficiently than many cities and is ready for the rural to urban migration move by providing jobs and infrastructure for the anticipated influx of people.

Shanghai as a city itself grew from very long ago to come to what it is now. Nowadays, it is a tourist attraction, many tourists all over the world visit the city since it has been a host of many traditional events and exhibitions. The city’s airport and harbor are among the busiest terminals in the world as many people come to visit the city either for business purposes or leisure. The city’s move to welcome the west was considered as a good gesture since there was an immediate shoot of the economy and the city was now allowed to “get rich”. Shanghai, being a global hub and a respected market in the Asia Pacific region, is trying to set up the best economy in the world while still being able to manage its population. Shanghai has proven to the world to be a hub for welcoming new investors. The move by the central government to create a free trade zone was welcomed worldwide and considered a very intellect way for Shanghai to stay competitive and surpass other cities in their economy. Its diverse economy assists it in catering for various industries in the region.


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October 26, 2021
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