Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Fun Facts about Shanghai
Some days I hate living here, some days I love it. Most days Shanghai is out of my mind, I just go to work, come home, and have a normal day. Other days I get pushed on the subway, listen to people hawking and spitting, and breathe the heavy air. Yet other days I think, wow, what a hungry and amazing people I live with. What a city!
Shanghai, and China generally, is terribly crowded. It is something that I don’t really like, but I can see how it has contributed to China’s strength. Shanghai is a symbol of that progression. A jewel at the turn of the century, marred in the communist revolution, aim of ambition when China started to welcome capitalism, today, Shanghai is the largest city in the most populated country on Earth. The sheer size and speed at which the city has expanded is amazing. It’s location in the delta of the Yangtze and on the Yellow River helped the city flourish into a major center of commerce between the east and the west, and in 2005, Shanghai became the world’s largest cargo port. Shanghai has the world's most extensive bus system, but honestly I only take the subway because the buses are too complicated for me.
Shanghai is one of the most populated cities in China. it has a permanent resident population of over 14 million, of which 12 million live in the urban areas. Shanghai population accounts for 1.1% of the Chinese population which in the most populous country on earth is really saying something. The average density of 2059 inhabitants per square kilometers (3854 in the urban areas) is phenomenal. Add on to that a huge population of itinerant workers, probably numbering two million and you have human soup. I feel like I never have a moment alone in this city and when I read numbers like that I can be pretty sure that it’s more than a feeling. (Boston anyone?)
The tallest skyscraper in Shanghai, the Shanghai World Financial Center, is now the third tallest in the world. The second tallest building in the world, which is now under construction, will be the Shanghai Tower. It will come in at a height of 2,073 feet when it’s completed.
I often hear that China aims to make Shanghai a “world city”. The way things are going, I think it already is.