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Main content and highlights of the Shanghai Master Plan (2017-2035)

Jan 26, 2018

The Shanghai Municipal Government’s Information Office held a press conference on January 4 on the main content and highlights of the Shanghai Master Plan (2017-2035). Following are the highlights:


Shi Guanghui, vice mayor, Shanghai Municipal Government

Xu Yisong, director, Shanghai Planning and Land Resources Bureau

Wang Sizheng, inspector, Shanghai Development and Reform Commission

Cen Fukang, deputy director, Shanghai Planning and Land Resources Bureau


Jiefang Daily: I have a question for mayor Shi. What development targets have been set in the master plan for Shanghai through 2035? My second question is: what’s the background and main considerations behind drafting this master plan?


Shi Guanghui: Just now we have unveiled the plan. Its core content is the positioning of Shanghai and the setting up of development targets and vision for Shanghai in the future. The State Council has clarified the positioning of Shanghai and made clear the development targets and vision through 2035, and there are comments on two time frames: 2020 and 2050. The positioning, targets and vision are entirely consistent with the master plan of 1999-2020 approved by the State Council in 2001.


In addition, the master plan reflects new requirements by the central government as well as new expectations from city residents amid changing scenarios both at home and abroad. In the master plan, Shanghai is positioned as an innovative, humanistic and eco-friendly metropolis with global influence. According to the plan, Shanghai has been positioned as the core city in the Yangtze River Delta urban cluster, an international economic, financial, trade and shipping center, a technology and innovation hub as well as an international cultural metropolis. It will also be an excellent global city, a city of innovation, culture and ecology, as well as a modern socialist metropolis with global influence.


Shanghai has undoubtedly been one of the key municipalities in China and a famous historical and cultural city. In the 1999-2020 master plan approved by the State Council in 2001, it was made clear that Shanghai would be constructed into “four centers” and a socialist, modern, international metropolis. The “four centers” refer to international economic, financial, trade and shipping centers. It’s consistent this time. Compared with the last-round master plan, this time there is a new center, which is to develop Shanghai into a technology and innovation center with global influence. President Xi Jinping and the CPC Central Committee put forward this new requirement. As for the international cultural metropolis, it was put forward at the 9th Shanghai Congress of the CPC when Xi Jinping was Shanghai Party Secretary. The positioning of the core city in the Yangtze River Delta urban cluster was made clear in the development plan of the Yangtze River Delta urban cluster by the State Council. The positioning of Shanghai reflects the special functions and effects of the city in China and in the Yangtze River Delta region.


As for an “excellent global city,” an adorable city of innovation, culture and excellent environment, these targets are the expectations of local residents during the compiling of the plans, which also reflects the historical responsibilities of Shanghai in joining global competitions on a higher level.


In the report on the 19th National Congress of the CPC it was mentioned that in the mid-21st century China will be built into a socialist, modern and strong nation. Echoing this, the positioning of Shanghai has been added with an attribute -- with global influence, thus Shanghai will be a socialist, modern metropolis with global influence. The positioning is the core and most important content of the master plan, which shows the requirement and expectation of the central government on Shanghai as well as the hopes and expectations of local residents for a better life.


The targets are grand; we should combine our efforts to realize them. Thank you!


CCTV: In the master plan, it is mentioned that Shanghai will strive to be an “excellent global city”. What is the definition of an “excellent global city?” What are the connotations of an “excellent global city?” Thank you!


Xu Yisong: Thank you for your question. In the master plan we have put forward our targets and vision on constructing an “excellent global city”. We generally regard a global city as a metropolis and international city at a higher development stage. Generally a global city has the following characteristics: first, it has the function of a global economic engine; second, it has a livable environment with high quality urban life; third, it has all-round global speaking rights, including cultural influence and low-carbon international demonstration role; fourth, it has the spatial form of a metropolis. A global city always boasts lots of headquarters of multinational companies and international institutions, a global trade center, and a regional transportation, information hub and international cultural exchange center with unique humanistic spirit. As to the evaluation system of a global city there is no unified standard as universities and research institutes have different criteria, however, it is commonly believed that Shanghai is already a global city.


With the sustainable development of China as the second largest economy in the world, Shanghai will undoubtedly have an even bigger global economic influence as it is an important economic center in China. So adding the attribute “excellent” to “global city” not only shows the city spirit of Shanghai as inclusive but also open, wise, moderate and striving for excellence. Shanghai aims to become a peer of New York, London and Tokyo in 2035. And we have decided the detailed index for 2035 from the perspective of innovation, culture and environment protection. By 2035 the important development index should reach advanced international standards, and in 2050 all development indices should hit leading international levels comprehensively.


CBN Daily: The 2035 plan mentions building Shanghai into a metropolis with global influence. Earlier there was a plan for the Yangtze River Delta cities and now there is the mention of a world-class urban cluster and the world’s biggest bay area. What is the relationship between the Yangtze River Delta cities, a world-class urban cluster and the world’s biggest bay area? What role does Shanghai play in each plan?


Wang Sizheng: There are quite a few concepts now, but we have never mentioned the bay area. According to the master plan the State Council approved this time, it is still the concept of the Yangtze River Delta City Cluster. Currently the competition between countries and between cross-border companies is in fact the competition between cities or city clusters. We need to understand that the cluster here refers to the cities neighboring Shanghai, where the Yangtze River Delta City Cluster would have a wider range. These are all geographical concepts. In the development plan for the Yangtze River Delta City Cluster approved last year, it has been clearly written that Shanghai is to improve the city functions, build a world-class urban cluster center and speed up improvement of its core competence and comprehensive service functions. Shanghai has been naturally linked with the Yangtze River Delta region in terms of geography, humanities, industrial cooperation, market construction and infrastructure connection over the course of its development. And Shanghai has become the core city over the period. The Shanghai municipal government recently conducted a survey on how to work together with the Yangtze River Delta. We will work on the following for the common prosperity of the region:


First we will strengthen the innovation drive to build an innovation network that gathers support from inside and outside. The innovative advantage in the Yangtze River Delta region will be used to strengthen innovation’s strategic supporting role in building a modern economy. We will push forward innovation-driven strategy to carry out scientific and technological joint research.


Second, we will promote the integrated development of the Yangtze River Delta region and build a world-class Yangtze River Delta City Cluster. The cluster is deemed the sixth largest in the world, but we consider it not enough in terms of its influence and competence, so we will need to improve. There will be better labor division in the region and divided competition in different areas to carry out coordinated development. A three-year plan for regional coordinated development in the delta will be formulated to enhance the industrial foundation and promote public services, including social security, medical security and hospital network.


Third we will strengthen joint work to manage the ecological environment and build a green and beautiful Yangtze River Delta. The harmonious co-existence between humans and nature is a must. We will aim for the goal to meet people’s increasing need for a fine environment to live in, provide quality ecological products, work harder to treat the atmosphere together, complete the regional comprehensive water environment treatment mechanism and focus on collaborative environment supervision.


Fourth we will build the infrastructure together and improve on the interaction and the energy guarantee level. Cross-region infrastructure construction will focus on transportation and energy; a modern infrastructure network will be put in place, which will be safe and efficient with complete functions. We will speed up the construction of a comprehensive transportation network and actively push forward the construction of energy infrastructure.


Fifth we will promote pilot projects in the area for new breakthroughs in the reform and opening-up of the Yangtze River Delta region. Shanghai has walked to the front of the reform over the years. According to General Secretary Xi’s requirement, Shanghai will lead the reforms. There are many great reform practices in the cities and provinces in the delta region. We can learn from each other, communicate more and form a new opening layout and upgrade our open economy.


Last we will focus on practical integration to establish a complete and effective cooperation mechanism and make it work better to decide and coordinate to solve problems in making regional strategies. We will strengthen the three-tier regional cooperation mechanism to build a new regional cooperation platform.


Wenhui Daily: Is there any new consideration for urban transportation in the new master plan?


Xu Yisong: Currently, Shanghai rather depends on a single metro mode with a public traffic network centering on the city core area, where guidance on the suburban area is not enough. Shanghai will continue its strategy to place public transit as a priority, developing a hub supported by a closely-built traffic network.


First we will focus on restructuring the public transportation network to make the railway play the main supportive role. In the planning, public services will be set up according to local factors and lines will be set up between cities, in the downtown area and in the regions. The proportion for public transportation should reach 40 percent and we will strive to shorten the average commute time to the downtown area to less than 40 minutes. We have another goal to reach basically full transportation station coverage in new towns with more than 100,000 people.


Second, we will make public transportation in the main district more convenient. Railway coverage will be improved to make passenger transportation more reasonable. Our plan is to make the transit network in the east and in the north moderately denser to support transportation along the Huangpu River.


Third we will determine regional lines’ core status in the main districts as well as part of the urban and suburban circles. They include the modern tram lines in suburban Jiading, Songjiang, Qingpu, Fengxian and Nanhui.


Fourth we will make buses and railways connect better. In the main district we will improve on the bus-only lanes and better plan the regular bus lines and manage and operate public transportation on a higher level. In other districts the current network will be optimized to cover a wider area.


Fifth we will make the slow-transportation network consistent by completing lanes for passengers and non-motor vehicles. We encourage people to go out in green ways like walking and riding bicycles. Integrated with the railway stations and public activity center, passenger as well as non-motor vehicle lanes will be set up. The bicycle rental system will also be upgraded to connect better with bus and railway stations.

STV: The plan mentions that the development method needs to be changed, and it puts forward the notion of “Bottom Line Development”. The industrial development of Shanghai needs great support of land; how will you strike a balance between arable land minimum and industrial development?

Cen Fukang: Facing a shortage of resources and land for development, the 2035 master plan stipulates negative growth of construction-use land. By 2035, Shanghai’s construction-use land scale will be reduced from 3,226 square kilometers to 3,200 square kilometers, securing negative growth of construction land. Also, Shanghai will set its construction-use land scale to 3,200 square kilometers. To achieve this goal, the 2035 master plan has mapped out Shanghai’s transformation through urban planning, and the city will use innovative land use to transform society and the economy. We will achieve the negative growth of construction-use land through four aspects:

Firstly, the layout of land development needs to be optimized; more efforts will be put into vertical development of land and underground space development, to facilitate intensive use of land. Land-use zoning control will be formed into three divisions according to the city’s spatial structure, namely, ecological space, agricultural space, and urban and rural space. Four bottom lines will also be set, namely, eco-system protection, permanent minimum arable land, urban development boundary, and cultural heritage protection.

Secondly, land-use structure will be optimized. The land for ecological use will be increased, along with urban green space. We can see from the land-use scheme that to achieve the goal of building Shanghai into a city of ecology, now the ecological use land has been increased from 221 square kilometers to 480 square kilometers, accounting for 60 percent of urban land area. Also, no less than 15 percent of the total urban land will be reserved for public service facilities.

Thirdly, more land will be reserved for advanced manufacturing to increase the performance of industrial land. About 10-15 percent of the total land will be reserved for industrial use. Industrial bases, industrial communities, sporadic industrial land-use layout will be deepened and mapped out at different levels. The industrial bases have national strategic importance, and they will have a bearing upon neighboring areas, the industrial land-use for advanced manufacturing will be no less than 150 square kilometers, and the industrial land will be protected like arable land, and a minimum will be set to secure the development space of national strategic industries and advanced manufacturing. In the meantime, the land-use performance will be increased, and the stock assets of industrial land will be revitalized.

Fourthly, multiple functions of land use will be supported to increase land-use efficiency. Multiple functions of land use such as business, office, residence, public facilities and municipal infrastructure will be developed. Industrial parks near universities will be encouraged to be co-developed with residential communities, as well as the multiple use of arable land. The lifecycle of land-use management will be strengthened and dynamic supervision and management of industrial land-use will be achieved through means of market, fiscal levy, and technologies. The land use’s economic benefits, social benefits, and ecological benefits will be increased.

Fifthly, land supply will be regulated in an orderly manner and low-efficiency construction land-use will be cut. Construction land will be prioritized for public welfare and people’s livelihood projects, and infrastructure. And the priorities of land use will be gradually shifted to the building of new towns, key townships and key industrial projects.

The What will Shanghai do to ensure the new master plan will be effectively carried out?

Xu Yisong: First of all, the authority of the master plan will be upheld with all-out efforts. The State Council has given approval to the master plan, and it is the lawful basis of Shanghai’s urban development and management, it should be executed to the letter. No individuals or units can alter the plan.

Secondly, the executive system of the master plan has been put forward. The task of the plan is high-aiming and heavy, so, the execution of the plan needs the joint efforts of all in society. The executive system has five aspects:

The first aspect is space optimization. Multiple planning integration of spatial planning will be applied and other spatial planning, including population distribution, economic layout, environment protection, land use, and infrastructure building. The master plan will be laid out through layered plan and detailed plan, to implement the goal and index of the master plan. A short-term action plan and annual work plan will also be mapped out.

The second aspect is better policies and regulations. Further the policy-making role of municipal- and district-level political consultative conferences, and hasten to revise the technical specifications. The master plan also puts forward new concepts, new goals, and new requirements.

The third aspect is to innovate the management system of space. Incorporate the ecological red line, permanent basic cropland red line, urban development boundary, and cultural heritage protection red line into laws and regulations at all levels.

The fourth aspect is to improve society’s participation in the endeavor. Multiparty collaboration mechanisms among the government, market, and society need to be established, and lead the most extensive participation of the public.

The fifth aspect is to build the maintenance system of the master plan, using the urban development strategic data platform built during the formation of the master plan, to form a mechanism that does dynamic monitoring and regular evaluation of the master plan’s implementation process.

Thirdly, a supervision mechanism of the master plan’s implementation will be set up. In the Shanghai 2035 master plan, the accompanying regulatory mechanism was put forward as well, which is using charts and diagrams to show the implementation process of the plan and form regular appraisal reports which will be incorporated into the government’s work assessment. Also, the implementation process will be filed with the standing committee of the people’s congress at the same level, and be subjected to the supervision of superior examining and approving organizations.

We hope the master plan can be implemented through the aforementioned series of measures, thank you.

Shanghai Financial News: Shanghai offered a number of new land lots for rental housing in the second half of last year. By 2020, the city is estimated to offer a total 700,000 rental houses. What innovations and regulations will be made to promote rental housing?

Shanghai is building five functional centers. In December, Hangzhou announced plans for construction of an international financial technology center. Will there be competitive or complementary relations between functional centers in Shanghai and Hangzhou? What advantages does Shanghai have in this area?

Cen Fukang: Residents are much concerned about the issue of rental housing. This round of planning mainly focuses on government functions and guiding strategies to further improve the affordable and sustainable housing supply system. The plan takes into consideration the future trend of family miniaturization and locals’ demand for improving living conditions. The city will maintain a stable supply of residential land.

In terms of structure, the city will increase the supply of small and medium-sized houses and offer various types of housing, including talent apartments, international communities and elderly-oriented houses. In terms of the supply system, Shanghai will further improve the integrated housing security system which promotes both renting and buying so as to solve the housing problem of innovation and entrepreneurship groups and people with middle and low income. At the same time, we will increase the proportion of rental housing through multiple channels and increase the proportion of rental housing among newly-built residential houses. We will encourage scientific research institutes, hospitals, industrial parks, large state-owned enterprises and other units to build rental housing for talents. We will also encourage various social institutions to rent idle housing, revitalize the stock of housing resources and form stable resources for rental housing.

Shanghai offered two land lots for rental housing last July. By December 30, the city had added 80 hectares of land with a 1.82-million-square-meter construction area, which can offer space for 30,000 rental houses. At the same time, 10,000 units of rental houses totaling 600,000 square meters were built. In the second half of last year, the municipal government issued opinions on rental housing, and launched specific policies with regards to planning and land. In 2018, we will continue to increase the supply of land for new rental housing by means of urban renewal.

Wang Sizheng: Shanghai is making efforts on the construction of a global financial center and a scientific innovation center. Recently Hangzhou announced plans to build a financial technology center. There will be positive interaction and dislocation competition between the two cities and it is a good thing for us to develop in both competition and cooperation. The development of Shanghai is driven by scientific innovations. In May 2015, the municipal government issued opinions on the construction of a science and technology innovation center with global influence. The city has made initial achievements in the past few years after the implementation of the opinions. We hope that Shanghai will be developed into a city of global excellence by making new breakthroughs in innovation-driven development.