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May 7, 2014

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Easing population density key to urban plan

EFFICIENT land use and sustainable development will be two of the key themes of the city’s urban planning for 2020-40, the city leader said yesterday.

“We must predict the problems the city might encounter in the future. The planning should be proactive but reliable at the same time,” Shanghai Party Secretary Han Zheng said at the 6th Shanghai Urban Planning Affairs Meeting.

“The focus must be on sustainability so that we leave the next generation with space for further development,” he said.

Another priority will be population control, especially with regard to reducing the density in the city’s downtown areas, Han said.

According to guidelines released yesterday, authorities will continue to rein in population growth in such areas by controlling the development of residential land and by encouraging people to relocate to new residential communities being developed in suburban districts such as Qingpu, Jiading and Fengxian.

The aim is to make suburban communities more attractive by building better transport facilities, improving the environment, creating jobs and enhancing public services, the guidelines said.

In a directive issued to district governments at the meeting, the Pudong New Area was tasked with developing both its urban and suburban areas in a way that creates the maximum benefit, while Baoshan and Minhang districts were told to concentrate on industrial reform.

All suburban districts should cooperate with other provinces and cities in the Yangtze River Delta Region to promote the development of new towns, it said.

Efficient land use

In terms of land use, the Shanghai government has set aside a maximum of 322,000 hectares for construction through 2020.

The aim is to increase the efficiency of land use, and shift the focus to the development of rural areas to better link downtown and suburban districts. Concurrently, the amount of land allocated for industrial use will be reduced.

As for transport, the continued development of green traffic systems remains a priority.

A draft of the urban plan will be issued in June of next year and be submitted to the State Council in 2016.

To ensure it is properly implemented, a formal management system should be established, Han said.

Members of the public can follow the planning process by logging on to and can submit their own ideas and suggestions via

According to Gui Shixun, a professor with the Population Research Institute at East China Normal University, Shanghai’s population will reach 25 million by next year.

Young migrant workers bring vitality to the city, but they also increase the pressure on resources, he said.

“Shanghai should seek to attract skilled people according to its needs, which are changing all the time,” Gui said.

“Just adding more untrained workers will not help us to meet the needs of the future.”

Shanghai’s population is 24 million now but set to rise to 27 million by 2020, Gui said.


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