Shanghai is a Chinese coastal city directly administered by the central government in Beijing. Located at the mouth of the Yangtze River Delta and situated on the eastern coast of Asia facing the Pacific Ocean, Shanghai is China's principal gateway to the world. To the north of the city is the mouth of the Yangtze River, to the east the East China Sea, to the south Hangzhou Bay and to the west Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces.
The total area of Shanghai province is 6,340.5 km2, with the urban land area covering 792.53 km2 (12.5%) and the rural land area comprising 5,547.97 km2 (87.5%). The population of Shanghai at the end of 1994 reached 12.95 million, with 9.48 million of the population living in the urban area and 3.47 million of the population residing in the rural area. The population density of Shanghai is currently 2,042 per km2, the highest amongst all provinces in China. Shanghai, today, arguably is the country's most modern city.
The urban area is founded on the west bank of the Huangpu River and is called Puxi (west of the river). On the other side of the river the Pudong New Development Zone, an area of 522 km2, was established in April 1990 by the authority to speed up the rate of urbanization of Shanghai.
In the mid-nineteenth century, Shanghai was opened as one of the treaty ports under the Treaty of Nanjing (1842) and subsequently an influx of foreign nationalities established the international settlement on the banks of the Huangpu River. The city's orientation to the sea and its excellent accessibility to the Yangtze River resulted in an expansion of trading and shipping activities. After the city opened as a treaty port, Shanghai emerged as China's largest economic centre and its urban functions became increasingly diversified to include banking and finance, commerce and manufacturing. By 1947 there were 14 foreign banks, 128 government-owned and privately
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Publication information: Book title: Cities in the Pacific Rim: Planning Systems and Property Markets. Contributors: James Berry - Editor, Stanley McGreal - Editor. Publisher: E & FN Spon. Place of publication: London. Publication year: 1999. Page number: 45.
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