Shanghai Development Strategy in Regional Context



Approval Date
Actual Completion Date
Proposal Focus
Core Focus
Secondary Cities
Country Type
Lesson Learned for Cities Alliance Members and Partners
The Right Local Partner: It is very important that a local partner champions the CDS Programme in order to ensure wide and targeted impact. In this regard, SDRC proved to be an effective partner due to its direct reporting line to the Mayor of Shanghai and its role as the city’s prime think-tank. Enhanced SWOT Approach: An enhanced approach to traditional SWOT analysis was developed by i) classifying causes of weakness and threats, and constraints for building on strengths and opportunities. ii) identifying reasons for these causes and constraints iii) ranking them in order of importance according to four criteria : importance, urgency, actionability and degree of influence by SMG. These rankings were subjected to sensitivity analysis according to varying weights, and reviewed in detail with Shanghai authority. The top ten reasons for causes and constraints were addressed as the main policy spaces in the final CDS with specification of related benchmarks and monitoring indicators. This applied approach appears to have been helpful for the prioritization of strategic planning efforts. The Regional Approach: The programme applied a regional approach to city strategic development, an approach that proved very useful in Chinese context, which may be useful for other Chinese capital regions. The Chinese Context: The programme confirmed Chinese challenges in the following processes: Inter-jurisdictional Challenges in China: It is challenging not only to coordinate efforts across jurisdictional boundaries in China but also to make professional contacts across jurisdictions because of the silo mentality, ‘protocol’, secrecy and the strong competitive nature of such relationships in the country. Stakeholder Consultations: The programme also confirmed the challenges in achieving broad-based western style consultative process in China, due to lack of traditions and actors for the same.


Shanghai, one of the largest cities in Asia, is the core metropolis in a rapidly urbanizing and industrializing corridor in Yangtze Delta Region of China. This region comprises a complex network of large cities, intermediate cities and smaller cities, many of which have experienced economic growth rate higher than Shanghai in past decade. The Shanghai Municipal Government (SMG) is concerned that the city’s national and global competitiveness may not be improving fast enough, in relation to other faster growing cities in the Yangtze Delta Region and South’s Pearl River Delta region adjacent to Hong Kong. SMG is committed to address these issues and Shanghai CDS is a step towards it. While Shanghai’s CDS takes a long term, strategic and multi sectoral perspective, it also creates a short-term action plan including a set of policies on economic development, investment promotion, urban development and related financial and institutional arrangement, based on successful international experiences.
The Shanghai Development Research Center, Shanghai Municipal Government (SMG)’s principal policy think tank, proposes on behalf of SMG to conduct a CDS activity for Shanghai that focuses on: (i) Refining the vision and strategies of the SMG in a regional context, based on its 11th FYP; (ii) Identifying measures and interventions to improve the municipality’s structure of economic and social development longer term; and (iii) Defining monitoring indicators to track progress. The CDS activity will start with a review of the 11th FYP (which the SMG is currently finalising, and is expected to be approved by the national government in early 2006) and build on it.
The CDS will be conducted in the following phases: Phase 1: Analysis of six international case studies and development of the 2020 Scenario for Shanghai Phase 2: Assessment of risks for achieving defined scenario and definition of monitoring indicators Phase 3: Strategy (CDS) finalization including a set of economic and social development policies for SMG to pursue
Expected Impacts and Results
his City Development Strategy has been one of the first attempts for a regional oriented strategic development by a city in YDR region. It will influence the SMG and SDRC’s understanding of role of the city in regional as well global scenario. The case studies of global cities makes the policy makers understand of what it takes for Shanghai to reach the similar prominence in this regard as existing global cities like New York, London, Paris, Hong Kong, Tokyo. It will widen the engagement of Shanghai’s policymakers with counterparts in select global cities around the world. It is expected that the policy makers will recognize the challenges that Shanghai faces to become a global financial center. Also, this CDS has been instrumental in improving communication and participation of various stakeholders in strategic development of the city. Inputs for 12th Five Year Plan This CDS is expected to influence the 12th Five Year Plan (2011-2015). It will provide policy recommendations based on sound international experience that become value-added inputs to the implementation of Shanghai and neighbouring provinces’ 12th FYP and their related Long Term Development Plans.