Shanghai, a Global City in the Making Essay
We are in the possession of three documents: the first one is a text about Shanghai’s growth, the second one is a picture of Pudong, which is a state-level new area of Shanghai, China, located along the east side of the Huangpu River, across from the historic city center of Shanghai in Puxi. The third document is a table that represents traffic of the major ports in 2005. All these documents have one common point: they show us that Shanghai is considered a global city in the making.
Global cities can be defined by the role they perform in global economic, financial, cultural, transportation and political affairs.
So to what extent can we say that Shanghai is becoming a global city? We will answer this question by showing the economic and infrastructural growth, the political growth and the cultural growth of this Chinese city. I. Shanghai, a city with a major economic and infrastructural growth… A. Economic features * Doc 1: City lies at intersection of global trading routes (Heart of Yangtze river delta); * Doc 1: Economic potential; * Doc 1: Sustained and substantial econ.
growth -> landscape of vertical and horizontal expansion; * Doc 1: economy is modernizing -> ½ labor force work n the service sector + 36% are employed in industry;
B. Infrastructural features * Doc 1: Rampant construction activity; * Doc 1: public + private sectors => building themed satellite towns and hundreds of new subway stations; * Doc 1: expanding road capacity and public transport infrastructure (1/4 of the inhabitants use public transport); * Doc 2: Pudong => has grown rapidly since the 1990s and emerged as China’s financial and commercial hub + home to the Lujiazui Finance and Trade Zone, the Shanghai Stock Exchange and many of Shanghai’s best known buildings, such as the Oriental Pearl Tower, the Jin Mao
Building, the Shanghai World Financial Center + it is the site of the future Shanghai Tower. * Doc 3: Singapore is the most important port (in 2005) with a total traffic of 350 million tons. TR: Even though Shanghai is a growing city in terms of economic and infrastructural features, two of the major features that make a city global are missing. II. What’s missing? A. Political features * Not a very active participation of influence on international event and world affairs like other major global cities (ex: Beijing, Berlin, London, Tokyo, etc. ; * No headquarters for international organizations such as the UN in New York, the World Bank in Washington D. C or NATO in Brussels)
B. Cultural features * Renowned cultural institutions: * Shanghai Museum of Art and History; Shanghai Art Museum; Shanghai Natural History Museum; * Birthplace of Chinese cinema and theater; /! \ Only regionally and nationally renowned, not internationally. * No influential media outlets with and international reach; * No strong sporting community; No educational institutions such as renowned universities, international student attendance or research facilities; * No sites of pilgrimage for world religions like in Mecca, Jerusalem or Rome; * No World Heritage Sites in Shanghai (only in Beijing and other Chinese cities); * Some arts, media, television, video games, music, literature, magazines, articles and documentary, but mostly only heard of nationally or even just regionally. CONCLUSION
Even though Shanghai is one of the largest cities in China and features two important elements to make a city global, it is still lacking a few elements to totally become a world city. If the economic and infrastructural features keep on growing as predicted and some political and cultural features start appearing, in a couple years, we will indeed be able to say that Shanghai is a definite global city, but for now, we can only say that Shanghai is a global city in the making.