7 Billion Humans | National Geographic Magazine: Urban Planning Museum | Urbanization in Shanghai, China

Urban Planning Museum | Urbanization in Shanghai, China

The City Planning Museum is just off People’s Square in the Puxi side of Shanghai.  Models show not only the buildings that are already done, but also those planned for the future. All goes according to plan, but not with a lot of rights for individual Chinese.

Since 2000, China’s cities have expanded at an average rate of ten percent annually. The country’s urbanization rate increased from 17.4% in 1978 to 46.8% in 2009, a scale unprecedented in human history. Between 150 and 200 million migrant workers work part-time in the major cities, returning home to the countryside periodically with their earnings.

Today, the People’s Republic of China has dozens of cities with one million or more long-term residents, including the three global cities of Beijing, Hong Kong, and Shanghai. The figures in the table below are from the 2008 census, and are only estimates of the urban populations within administrative city limits; a different ranking exists when considering the total municipal populations (which includes suburban and rural populations). The large “floating populations” of migrant workers make conducting censuses in urban areas difficult; the figures below do not include the floating population, only long-term residents.

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