Is Shanghai the World's Most Futuristic City?

In his new book "A History of Future Cities", journalist Daniel Brook visits four cities on the edge of the future: St. Petersburg, Shanghai, Mumbai, and Dubai.

In just two decades Shanghai has been transformed from "mothballed relic" of Maoism to one of the world's largest and most dynamic cities, complete with the fastest train on earth and more high-rise buildings than Manhattan.

In an excerpt on Places from his new book A History of Future Cities, Daniel Brook recounts Shanghai's fast-forward and often ruthless reinvention — and describes what has become an enduring dilemma in Reform-era China.

For all its new energy, he writes, "the new Shanghai has yet to live up to the city’s historic promise — to sort out what it means to be Chinese and modern."

Full Story: Head of the Dragon: The Rise of New Shanghai


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