In 1980, there were no skyscrapers in Shanghai. Today, there are twice as many as in the skyline of New York City. Due to this incredible speed of development, the city now boasts the world's largest port, China's main stock exchange, and a population of 23 million. Shanghai is China's richest city, and the center of its national and international commercial activity. In 2010, Shanghai hosted the largest and most expensive World Expo, attracting more than 73 million visitors and the participation of 250 countries.
Shanghai officially became a city in 1927, but it's history as a market town dates back 1000 years prior. The development of the past three decades has also caused the displacement of thousands of residents and the erasure of the city's rich historical neighborhoods and buildings from the 19th and early 20th centuries. To understand Shanghai as a global megacity today, it is also important to recognize the effects of its rapid growth. How has Shanghai's recent history of constant transformation changed its identity? How will the city continue to develop in the future? Can and should it sustain its current speed of growth?