Thursday, September 27, 2007

Shanghai Urban Planning

Last year I was in Shanghai, China on business. A friend suggested we visit the Shanghai Urban Planning building, and the first thing I thought was "ohhh, I bet that's exciting...not". But, he convinced us to give it a try, and here are a few photos I took.

On the top floor of this building is the largest model of urban planning in the world. For an American, seeing Shanghai is a shock at how large the city is, and how many skyscrapers there are. For reference, Shanghai's population is about 22 million people, compared to about 8 million in New York. Most U.S. cities have a "downtown" type area where the most skyscrapers are clustered, but Shanghai is a city of skyscrapers everywhere.

The World Population Map is one way to understand the scale difference between the U.S. and China, but this model city is astounding. Even better than riding around town (you definitely don't want to be the one driving), the model city really drives home the scale of Shanghai, and what has been accomplished in urban development. The model is built at 1:2000 scale.

Those are the building support columns in the middle of the model, NOT some new super skyscraper!

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