Savills: Shanghai releases draft blueprints for city’s future development

29 August 2016

On August 22 Shanghai’s municipal government released blueprints outlining possible plans for the future development of the city covering population, the environment, transport and public services.

Key takeaways include:

Restrict population growth
The city’s population is to be controlled and not exceed 25 million people by 2040.

With the population already standing at 24.3 million people by 2014, this allows for only an additional 700,000 people over a 26 period, equivalent to 27,000 people per year.

To put that in context 2007 recorded net population growth in Shanghai of 995,000 individuals, in fact any every year from 2006-2010, net population growth reached in excess of 700,000 individuals. Population growth has admittedly lessened in recent years reaching just 105,000 in 2014, though the population cap may prove quite challenging in achieving.

Shanghai’s resident population has grown rapidly in the last two decades from 14 million people in 1994 to 24.3 million in 2014, much of that growth has come in the form of migration, with registered population only growing by 1.4 million people from 13 million people to 14.4 million in 2014. The registered population in 2014 accounted for less than 60% of the resident population, down from 93% in 1994.

This growth in population has been overall very positive for the city as young educated job seekers come to the city in search of higher paying jobs promoting business development while cheap labour keeps the cost of services under control. Nevertheless as Shanghai continues its transition to a services economy (tertiary sector now accounts for 67.8% of GDP) there is less requirement for manual labourers. At the same time with the potential for hukou reform or the provision of more services to non local hukou holders the public works, and in particular social infrastructure, is incapable for providing the services expected of an international city. Population control and increased investment in social infrastructure e.g. municipal buildings & institutions, schools, and hospitals, will be required to support the long term stable growth of the city and is important in creating a liveable municipality.

Limit total land area available for construction
The total land area allocated for construction is to be limited to 3,200 sq km (including 200 sq km of strategic reservation area) by 2040, of which 26% will be for residential use. By 2014 the city’s construction land area had already reached 3,124 sq km, this therefore means that construction land can increase by 76 sq km in the next 26 years or just 2.9 sq km per year. In 2040 the construction land will account for 50.5% of Shanghai 6,340.5 sq km land coverage.

At the same time the plan is to have forest converge increase to 25% of Shanghai land mass and public parks and green space increase from 7 sq m per capita to 15 sq m, given the population figures this would mean the total public greenery to increase from 177.9 million sq m to 375 million sq m, more than doubling in the next 26 years, or adding 7.6 million sq m per year.

A city the size of Shanghai needs to use the land it has as efficiently as possible. Rather than turning greenfield sites over to additional real estate development, the city is starting to reach a point in its development and a inflection point in the way people and businesses use space that planners, developers, investors and tenants need to look at the redevelopment and optimization of land that has already been allocated for construction purposes.

In some cases this will mean converting land/building usage, or refurbishing an older development, on others it may mean the demolition of the previous project and complete redevelopment. Building densities can be increased as long as it is conjunction with the creation of more public spaces and greens. Singapore is great example of this with public spaces integrated and an essential and sometimes pivotal component of communities, providing relief from the high rise, high density developed areas.

Town planning
According to the details released in the report, Xujiahui, the former Expo site, Qiantan and Xuhui Binjiang are all included within the central district while the city planning also identifies:

Nine sub centres: Jiangwan-Wujiaochang, Zhenru, Huamu-Longyang Rd, Jinqiao, Zhangjiang, Wusong-Baoshan, Hongqiao, Xinzhuang and Chuansha
Five metro centres: Jiading, Qingpu, Songjiang, Nanqiao and Nanhui
Two town centres: Jinshan Coastal Area and Chongming Bridge City

Other plans
Other plans include increasing urban infrastructure and public facilities such that there are 10 art galleries, two museums and five libraries for every 100,000 people, i.e. 2,500 art galleries, 500 museums and 1,250 libraries. There are also plans for sustained investment in the metro network, intercity railway network and tram lines, in part helping the city to achieve its pollution reduction targets.

Shanghai, already has one of the most impressive public transportation networks in the world. While sustained investment in public infrastructure is important, the management and maintenance of the existing network in order to optimize usage and efficiencies is also essential.

Another important facet of an international city is its education, culture and heritage, increased investment in public museums and galleries, historic and natural heritage the performing arts and music venues as well as sports arenas, convention centres and art/film/photographs/music studios is very important in providing the support and framework for the advancement of the city’s cultural standing.


Key Contacts

Olivia Shao

Olivia Shao

Marketing & Communications, Savills China

Savills Shanghai

+8621 6391 6688 Ext.8893