11/18/2004, 00.00
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Shanghai to move 800,000 residents from downtown area

Shanghai (AsiaNews/SCMP) – Almost 800,000 Shanghai residents will have to move from downtown to the suburbs to make way for new development. It is expected that by 2010—when Shanghai is scheduled to host the World Expo—some 760,000 residents will have moved from the city's outer ring-road.

Expropriated residents are upset and refuse to leave complaining about inadequate compensation. They also object to move because of poor transport networks in suburban areas.

A suburban development blueprint estimates that the total population living in Shanghai's suburban districts will reach 9 million by 2020, up from the current 6.57 million. Several satellite towns with populations in the millions will have to be established by then.

The limited supply of land in the centre of Shanghai is behind the relocation plan. Planners expect that at the current pace of development the city would run out of vacant space by 2007.

What is more, local authorities have been forced to take a firmer stance on development plans in the city centre. New commercial and residential buildings within the city's inner ring-road must meet strict height standards. Building of skyscrapers is actively discouraged.

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