“Asian Review 053” ―Chinese Megacities part 2
Shanghai aiming for further internationalization
The top five cities in China as of population seems to be Shanghai (24.2 million), Beijing (21.5 million), Tianjin (15.6 million), Guangzhou (14.9 million) and Shenzhen (12.5 million). Depending on the way of statistics, cities with large areas like Chongqing may come higher in rank.
Though we had introduced Shanghai through this “Asian Review series” in September to October 2017, more than two years have passed since then and the city functions seem to be upgraded. According to the long-term master plan toward 2040, the city aims to develop industries by creating nine regional subcenters like satellite cities in the outer perimeter of the city. At the same time, they seem to be advocating formation of the “15-minute living areas” in the city center and surrounding areas, and are trying to proceed “urban renewal” projects in existing urban areas that redevelop entire blocks while renovating buildings that can still be used.
The landscape which represents Shanghai, the Bund, still retains its remnants of the era of finance and commerce in Asia in the first half of the 19th century, while those developments in the “North Bund” and the “South Bund” are eye-catching.
In the area nearby Nanjing West Road, an area like Ginza in Tokyo, there is a multi-purpose commercial facility called “HKRI Taikoo Hui” that includes the renovation of traditional houses. Among them is the Starbucks Reserve Roastery flagship store, which has the largest store area in Asia with 2,790 square meters. This was the world’s largest until the opening of the Chicago store with 3,251 square meters last November.
As we have introduced in the “Asian Review 008” in October 2017, most citizens are using smartphone apps when calling taxis, therefore we hardly can find empty taxies on the streets. However, if you can use the BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) operated on the Yan’an Road West, it seems more convenient because the two-car rapid trolley busses run frequently on the exclusive lanes without traffic congestion.
Regarding air passenger services, Hongqiao Airport Terminal 2 was launched in 2010, and its departure and arrival capacity has improved significantly. However, it is still insufficient for the growing demand, and they are building Terminal 3 of the Pudong Terminal. In addition, Shanghai has begun construction of light rail transit connecting the two airports in about 40 minutes.
Indeed, in terms of the speed for construction of such transportation infrastructure, Shanghai seems to surpass Tokyo.