In only 150 years, Shanghai developed from a harbor city of half a million people in the 19th century to one of the world’s largest urban agglomerations of 23 million inhabitants today. This development was not linear but transformed the city in several waves of population influx, with political and economical impetus of both local and international interests. As early as in the 1970ies, the concept of satellite towns was developed and has since been one focus of the urban planning strategies. What kind of problems are Shanghai’s satellite towns facing today?

As Chinese cities make headlines with citizens choking in air pollution and Shanghai, a globalizing city and aspiring financial center, fishes out thousands of pigs from its river, the Huangpu, one cannot avoid discussing environmental and health issues. Shanghai illustrates the rapid changes the country is facing, such as the fast paced urbanization and its impact on sustainability.

The way Shanghai deals with its environmental challenges, as well as the recent developments will be presented: understand how Shanghai modernized, its infrastructure build up, efforts to curb pollution, investment in greenery, improvement of public transport as well as the trends towards green building. At a micro scale, one scrolls through markets and shops, understanding consumer trends related to food safety and health, such as organic food, urban farming, etc. and discussing lifestyle changes.


  • Shanghai Mega City on the Move with architect Fanny Hoffmann-Loss
  • When Size Matters: Walk & Talk Among Shanghai’s Super Talls with architect Fanny Hoffmann-Loss
  • Lilongs – Villages in the Concrete Jungle with architect Fanny Hoffmann-Loss
  • Ecoland Club: A natural community at the outskirts of Shanghai with environmental Expert Dr. Pan Tao
  • Sustainability and the City with environmental Expert Dr. Pan Tao and Magali Menant
  • Urban Trekking: Shanghai 360° with photographer Jan Siefke
  • History, Present and Future of Shanghai’s Urban Development with photographer Jan Siefke