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New towns to boost overall growth for Shanghai

By YUAN SHENGGAO ( China Daily Global ) 2021-10-27

New towns to boost overall growth for Shanghai

The Shanghai Poly Grand Theater is a cultural landmark in Jiading. [Photo/WeChat account: sh-jiading]

Five areas to provide key engine for city's future development

The building of five new towns in Shanghai's suburbs, deemed key to the city's future social and economic growth, is set to create new business opportunities for both domestic and overseas investors.

In late January, Shanghai unveiled its plan to build the new towns in five suburbs, part of the city government's efforts to optimize the development layout and create new engines for future growth.

Circling out from the central area of urban Shanghai from northwest to southeast, the five suburbs are Jiading, Qingpu, Songjiang, Fengxian and the Nanhui region in Pudong New Area.

The rise of the five new towns will play a prominent part in Shanghai's 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025), according to experts.

The five new towns will be developed as "independent and comprehensive nodes" among the city clusters in the Yangtze River Delta region by 2025. They will provide "strategic support for Shanghai's future development", Shanghai Mayor Gong Zheng said.

So far, the construction of the five new towns is progressing steadily with around 40 major industrial projects ongoing, the city government said in early September.

Shanghai officials noted that each of the five towns will not be a traditional "satellite city", but a place with the same functions as a normal city.

In the next five years, the five towns will give full play to their own advantages and strengths. With their different positions, the new towns will become modern, ecologically friendly, convenient and vibrant places. Meanwhile, the integration of industrial development and urban life have been heavily underscored in the plan.

In the past, suburbs mainly played the role of diverting a massive flood of population density in the city's urban area, and receiving backward industries transferred from the central area, according to experts. A lack of quality industry development and less developed urban life hindered the progress of satellite cities.

In this regard, the integration of industry development and urban life is seen as an important part in the construction of the five new towns, said Chen Jie, director of Center for Housing and Urban-Rural Development at Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

Chen said more public services should be planned in the construction of new towns. Meanwhile, a favorable business environment should be created to support promising industries. This will allow the five new towns to have their own individual economic development.

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