Shanghai is the most populated city in the most populated country in the world. With 15 to 20 million people roaming the streets, it’s also the sixth largest metropolitan area on the globe. And taking up the entire third floor of the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center at People’s Square is a miniature model of Shanghai - nearly as expansive as the real thing.
The 6,500-square foot metropolis model, about the size of one and a half basketball courts, is a meticulous representation of the cityscape for 2020. This means that some of the buildings exist, while many others are only a draft. Designing the mock-up involved scrutinizing numerous potential building plans and then creating the selections to a 1:2,000 scale.
Shanghai, like much of China, is smack dab in the middle of a building boom. And it may well turn out to be the city of skyscrapers. The motivator for present production is the 2010 World Expo - just like how the 2008 Summer Olympics fast-forwarded construction in Beijing.
But the city has always had a vision to expand, upgrade and modernize. City planners hope to see the Expo’s theme, “Better City, Better Life” carried on beyond 2010 as they take a close look at placing green spaces, like city parks and other outdoor areas, among the surge of apartment complexes.
As Shanghai follows in the blueprint of its model, it will turn out overwhelmingly monstrous or magnificently modernized. The city’s image, with its propensity toward “Stylish Shanghai” (on a sign outside its airport) and better living, is definitely on the road to bigger.
What type of remodeling job are you interested in?