Shanghai-China's Prosperous Largest City
Shanghai is one of the four direct-controlled municipalities of China and the most populous city proper in the world, with a population of more than 24 million as of 2014. It is a global financial centre and transport hub, with the world's busiest container port. Located in the Yangtze River Delta, it sits on the south edge of the estuary of the Yangtze in the middle portion of the East China coast. The municipality borders the provinces of Jiangsu and Zhejiang to the north, south and west, and is bounded to the east by the East China Sea.
Shanghai lies on China's east coast roughly equidistant from Beijing and Guangzhou. The Old City and modern downtown Shanghai are now located in the center of an expanding peninsula between the Yangtze River Delta to the north and Hangzhou Bay to the south, formed by the Yangtze's natural deposition and by modern land reclamation projects. The provincial-level Municipality of Shanghai administers both the eastern area of this peninsula and many of its surrounding islands. It is bordered on the north and west by Jiangsu, on the south by Zhejiang, and on the east by the East China Sea. Its northernmost point is on Chongming Island, now the second-largest island in mainland China after its expansion during the 20th century.
Shanghai has a humid subtropical climate and experiences four distinct seasons. Winters are chilly and damp, with northwesterly winds from Siberia can cause nighttime temperatures to drop below freezing, although most years there are only one or two days of snowfall. Summers are hot and humid, with an average of 8.7 days exceeding 35 °C (95 °F) annually; occasional downpours or freak thunderstorms can be expected. The city is also susceptible to typhoons in summer and the beginning of autumn, none of which in recent years has caused considerable damage. The most pleasant seasons are spring, although changeable and often rainy, and autumn, which is generally sunny and dry. The city averages 4.2 °C (39.6 °F) in January and 27.9 °C (82.2 °F) in July, for an annual mean of 16.1 °C (61.0 °F). With monthly percent possible sunshine ranging from 34% in March to 54% in August, the city receives 1,895 hours of bright sunshine annually. Extremes since 1951 have ranged from −10.1 °C (14 °F) on 31 January 1977 (unofficial record of −12.1 °C (10 °F) was set on 19 January 1893) to 39.9 °C (104 °F) on 6 and 8 August 2013. A highest record of 40.9 °C (106 °F) was registered in another station on 21 July 2017.
Shanghai is the commercial and financial center of mainland China, and ranks 13th in the 2017 edition of the Global Financial Centres Index (and fourth most competitive in Asia after Singapore, Hong Kong, and Tokyo) published by the Z/Yen Group and Qatar Financial Centre Authority. It also ranks the most expensive city to live in Mainland China, according to the study of economist Intelligence Unit in 2017. It was the largest and most prosperous city in East Asia during the 1930s, and rapid re-development began in the 1990s. This is exemplified by the Pudong District, a former swampland reclaimed to serve as a pilot area for integrated economic reforms. By the end of 2009, there were 787 financial institutions, of which 170 were foreign-invested. In August 2014, Shanghai was named FDi magazine's Chinese Province of the Future 2014/15 due to "particularly impressive performances in the Business Friendliness and Connectivity categories, as well as placing second in the Economic Potential and Human Capital and Lifestyle categories". In 2012, the city hosted 780 international gatherings, up from 754 in 2011. The high supply of hotel rooms has kept room rates lower than expected, with the average room rate for four- and five-star hotels in 2012 at just RMB950 (US$153). As of September 2013, Shanghai is also home to the largest free-trade zone in mainland China, the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free-Trade Zone.
Shanghai has an extensive public transport system, largely based on metros, buses and taxis. Payment of all these public transportation tools can be made by using the Shanghai Public Transportation Card. Shanghai's rapid transit system, the Shanghai Metro, incorporates both subway and light metro lines and extends to every core urban district as well as neighboring suburban districts.
Shanghai is a major hub of China's expressway network. Many national expressways (prefixed with G) pass through or terminate in Shanghai, including G2 Beijing–Shanghai Expressway (overlapping G42 Shanghai–Chengdu), G15 Shenyang–Haikou, G40 Shanghai–Xi'an, G50 Shanghai–Chongqing, G60 Shanghai–Kunming (overlapping G92 Shanghai–Ningbo), and G1501 Shanghai Ring Expressway. In addition, there are also numerous municipal expressways prefixed with S (S1, S2, S20, etc.). Shanghai has one bridge-tunnel crossing spanning the mouth of the Yangtze to the north of the city.
Shanghai has four major railway stations: Shanghai Railway Station, Shanghai South Railway Station, Shanghai West Railway Station, and Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station. Three are connected to the metro network and serve as hubs in the railway network of China. Two main railways terminate in Shanghai: Jinghu Railway from Beijing, and Huhang Railway from Hangzhou. Hongqiao Station also serves as the main Shanghai terminus of three high-speed rail lines: the Shanghai–Hangzhou High-Speed Railway, the Shanghai–Nanjing High-Speed Railway, and the Beijing–Shanghai High-Speed Railway.
Shanghai is one of the leading air transport gateways in Asia. The city has two commercial airports: Shanghai Pudong International Airport and Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport. Pudong Airport is the main international airport, while Hongqiao Airport mainly operates domestic flights with limited short-haul international flights.
Shanghai has a rich collection of buildings and structures of various architectural styles.
The Bund, located by the bank of the Huangpu River, contains a rich collection of early 20th-century architecture, ranging in style from neoclassical HSBC Building to the art deco Sassoon House.
The Pudong district of Shanghai is home to a number of skyscrapers, many of which rank among the tallest in the world. Among the most prominent examples are the Jin Mao Tower and the taller Shanghai World Financial Center, which at 492 metres (1,614 ft) tall is the third tallest skyscraper in mainland China and ranks tenth in the world.
The Shanghai Tower, completed in 2015, is the tallest building in China, as well as the second tallest in the world. With a height of 632 metres (2,073 ft), the building has 128 floors and a total floor area of 380,000 square metres (4,100,000 sq ft) above ground. The distinctive Oriental Pearl Tower, at 468 metres (1,535 ft), is located nearby, as is One Lujiazui, standing at 269 metres (883 ft).