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June 6, 2014

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City has resources for 27m people

SHANGHAI can accommodate up to 27 million people while its fresh water resources can quench the thirst of 26.7 million people, according to the city’s executive vice mayor.

By the end of last year, Shanghai had more than 24.15 million dwellers but more than 40 percent — or 9.6 million — were migrants. Around 70 percent of the migrants had only junior high school or even lower education.

Many of the migrants live in suburban areas and their numbers are even higher than the locals in the city’s 62 townships, a third of the total, Executive Vice Mayor Tu Guangshao said at a forum on population and development of mega cities yesterday.

Most of the city’s migrants live with their families. By 2012, a total of 3.68 million migrants had joined Shanghai’s social security system.

By the end of 2013, more than 27 percent of locals, or 3.88 million Shanghainese, were over the age of 60, Tu said.

By 2011, Shanghai had 43.6 percent of land area, or 2,961 square kilometers, marked for urban construction, which was much more than the average ratio of 20 to 30 percent in most mega cities in the world.

The city’s public transport system was also stretched. In extreme cases, the number of passengers onboard a Metro train was 1.35 times more than allowed in a carriage.

Tu said Shanghai will strictly control its population in accordance with local industries, natural resources, infrastructure and public services. More people will move from Minhang and Baoshan districts to outskirts like Qingpu and Jiading where new communities will be developed, he said.

According to a long-term urban planning guideline published last month, Shanghai will make suburban communities more attractive by building better transport facilities, improving the environment, creating jobs and enhancing public services.

The guideline of the city’s urban planning for 2020-40 aims to reduce the density in the city’s downtown areas.

Authorities will continue to rein in population growth in such areas by controlling the development of residential land and encouraging people to relocate to new communities in suburban districts.


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