Shanghai plans to limit sprawl, cap population at 25 million by 2040

By Leng Shumei Source:Global Times Published: 2016/8/24 0:18:39

The Shanghai municipal government released an explanation of a city planning draft on Tuesday, saying that controlling urban sprawl and capping the municipality's population at 25 million will serve to build an "innovative, humanistic and ecological" city by 2040.

Shanghai will bring its population to around 25 million by 2040 to alleviate pressure on the environment caused by increasing population, read a draft released Monday by the Shanghai government for one month of public review.

The draft also plans to reduce the developed land area ceiling in Shanghai from 32.26 million square kilometers to 32 million square kilometers by 2040.

Controlling population and sprawl will help build the municipality into a center of international trade, finance, technology and culture and will create an "innovative, humanistic and ecological" city by 2040, read an explanation of the draft released on the Shanghai government's website on Tuesday.

The government will also optimize its land use structure by reducing the area of industrial zones while increasing the area allotted for green space and public services, the explanation read. 

However, Liang Zhongtang, a research fellow at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Tuesday that the municipality's population target is "unpractical and against the social development trend," citing the fact that Shanghai's permanent resident population already reached 23 million in 2010, while the government predicted a total of 19 million in 2007.

Liang noted that migrant workers and local low-income groups will probably suffer the most if the plan takes effect, because the government will very likely try to reach the target by demolishing illegal buildings, including wholesale markets and cheap housing where migrants and low-income people usually work and live.

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