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January 26, 2013

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City seeks drop in downtown dwellers

SHANGHAI will trim the proportion of its population living downtown by 4 percentage points and limit the city's total population to 26.5 million by 2020, officials said.

The number of permanent residents in downtown districts will account for around 45 percent of the city's total population by 2020, according to a city primary functions plan released by the Shanghai government.

Some 11 million people are living in the eight downtown districts of Huangpu, Xuhui, Changning, Jing'an, Putuo, Zhabei, Hongkou and Yangpu, and Baoshan and Minhang districts, accounting for nearly half of the city's population.

"The city government will strictly control the scale of population in the 10 districts, especially in Baoshan and Minhang, and also guide downtown residents to move to other districts," the government said. Many out-of-towners live in the two districts.

By the end of 2011, Shanghai had about 23 million residents, including over 9 million from outside the city, according to the latest figure available at the website of Shanghai Population and Family Planning Commission.

"The increase in the city's population has caused many problems, including surging housing prices, traffic congestion and a lack of medical resources," the plan said.

The plan divides the city into four functional zones.

The 10 downtown districts should develop service industries and control the population. The Pudong New Area should focus on reform and opening up and lead in changing the city development model. Suburban Jiading, Jinshan, Songjiang, Qingpu and Fengxian districts should attract more people to live, and create industries. Chongming Island should protect its environment.


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