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Shanghai's Rapid Urbanization: How Sustainable?

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By applying the compact city model, this paper investigates the sustainability performance of Shanghai's urban development since the mid-1990s and the implications for future urban policies. It argues that despite the planned polynucleated urban form and the intensive compaction brought about by the exponential growth in high rises, the sustainability benefits of densification are dwarfed by spatial specialization, increasing private transport, relocation of residents from the city centre, and inadequate public services provision especially in smaller residential developments. Nonetheless, owing to the past cellular planning approach, land use in the central city is still highly mixed, and public transport still dominates. General liveability has also been improved significantly, while the pollution problems are reportedly less serious than expected. This study argues that neighbourhood planning must be emphasized, that the mass transit systems should be vigorously developed, and that the affordability problems of the low-income migrant workers need to be resolved.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-12-07

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  • Built Environment is published quarterly in March, June, September and December. With an emphasis on crossing disciplinary boundaries and providing global perspective, each issue focuses on a single subject of contemporary interest to practitioners, academics and students working in a wide range of disciplines. Issues are guest-edited by established international experts who not only commission contributions, but also oversee the peer-reviewing process in collaboration with the Editors.

    Subject areas include: architecture; conservation; economic development; environmental planning; health; housing; regeneration; social issues; spatial planning; sustainability; urban design; and transport. All issues include reviews of recent publications.

    The journal is abstracted in Geo Abstracts, Sage Urban Studies Abstracts, and Journal of Planning Literature, and is indexed in the Avery Index to Architectural Publications.

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