Shanghai (1927-1937) / Master Plan of the Greater Shanghai Plan

The Greater Shanghai Plan was started compiled in May, 1930 by the City Center Area Construction Committee. The plan had 10 sections in total, about 30 chapters.

The 10 sections were about history, geography, statistic and survey, traffic, building, landscape, public utilities, sanitation, law and regulations. Generally, the aim of the Greater Shanghai Plan was to thoroughly change the whole pattern of Chinese part in Shanghai. But actually the goal was not realized in many aspects. The reason why the Greater Shanghai plan failed in the end would be discussed in the other chapter in this blog ‘Failure of the Greater Shanghai Plan’. This chapter would only discussed in which aspects it succeeded and in which aspects it failed. And which part of the plan still had the influence on the present Shanghai.



One of the direct achievement is building. From 1929 to 1938, there were 31 high-rise building with over 10 floors built in Shanghai, which was the highest in the modern history. Besides the high-rise building, the government housing and public building were also developed a lot. A serious of city library, museum, hospital were newly built. Actually public utilities was one of the aspects which plan was conducted in greatest extent. And the infrastructure construction also benefited the sanity of the living condition and social condition of local residents.

But as an uncompleted plan, the traffic condition was not improved. Because the plan only organized Chinese part, and did not consider the connection to the recession, the road development did not benefit the economy of the Chinese part a lot. The construction of Jiangwan harbor was only conducted for the first stage, so the function was far less than the recession harbor. The similar situation also happened on the railway line changing plan. Because all the plans were controlled by the government, the investment were also from the government. The revenue could not meet the expenditure of the construction of multiple facilities. And also the government spent a lot on the land, but could not get enough output from the land.


Though the Greater Shanghai Plan was not completed, it lay a foundation to the subsequent urban planning of Shanghai such as the later Greater Shanghai Urban Plan. The format of Wujiaochang was first set up in the Greater Shanghai Plan. Several public buildings were kept to the present and changed into other uses. Looking at the history, thought the plan did not change the dominant status of the Bund, it did propose the idea of making Jiangwan as another city center. And in the present Shanghai, Jiangwan has already become one of the important sub-civic center of Shanghai.


Shanghai Shi Shi Zhong Xin Qu Yu Jian She Wei Yuan Hui 上海市市中心区域建设委员会, Wei Bian Yin Da Shang Hai Ji Hua Zhi Shi Zheng Fu Ge Ju Han 为编印大上海计划致市府各局函

1 Comment on “Shanghai (1927-1937) / Master Plan of the Greater Shanghai Plan

  1. This post is not very informative at the moment. Which architects/urban planners were directly involved in the compilation of the Plan? Are they the same ones you mentioned in the Architects post? What kinds of urban plans did make reference from (perhaps from foreign countries)?

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