Report on China’s metropolitan cities released
It is important that cities which have focused too much on economic growth and infrastructure for the past three decades now start to make up for their lack of cultural construction in.”
Shanghai has been ranked fourth in a newly released report about metropolitanization in China, with Beijing, Guangzhou and Shenzhen of Guangdong province taking the first to third spots respectively.
The report, which was done by the Institute of Urban Science at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, the Ministry of Education and the China Metropolitan Database (2016), researched four major aspects: economy, population, living standard and culture.
“Sooner or later, all cities, including these first- and second-tier cities which are following the central government’s regional strategy, and small villages with special cultural attractions have to be independently developed in order to become metropolitans,” said Liu Shilin, the professor at the Institute of Urban Science, Shanghai Jiao Tong University.
According to expert analysis, the performance of the 36 metropolitans in China is critical to the country’s development. The nation’s GDP in 2015 was 67.67 trillion yuan ($10 trillion) while the total GDP of these 36 metropolitans exceeded 27 trillion yuan, accounting for 41.06 percent of the nation’s total.
There are currently more than 309 million people in these metropolitans, accounting for 22.56 percent of China’s population. These 36 cities also occupy 48.28 percent of China’s total urban construction areas.
Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou were also found to be the cities with top three highest GDP. However, the GDP of these cities were found to be growing at nearly the same pace as the nation’s (6.9 percent).
“The development of leading metropolitans like Beijing and Shanghai are switching from the high-speed to the mid- speed track, during which they have to manage the problems caused by population growth and changeable ecological environment,” said Liu Xinjing, the assistant director of the Institute of Urban Science, Shanghai Jiao Tong University.
The report also found that while Beijing is still the country’s hotbed for culture, other cities seem to be lacking in this aspect.
“It is important that cities which have focused too much on economic growth and infrastructure for the past three decades now start to make up for their lack of cultural construction,” said Liu.
Experts also said that authorities should focus on the creation of a sustainable ecological environment as part of a city’s overall development. The report showed that although Haikou from Hainan province and Chengdu from Sichuan province do not have high GDPs and growth rate, their sustainability initiatives had actually pushed them into the top 10 in the rankings.
“The continuous construction of green lifestyle and sustainable environments should be promoted all over the country to protect the natural resources and transform cities into modern and well-developed metropolitans,” said Liu.