Which City Will Be More Livable in 2035, NYC or Shanghai?

Shanghai might become the world's first gated city.

Reuters: China's Shanghai to battle 'big city disease' by limiting population to 25 million
China’s financial hub of Shanghai will limit its population to 25 million people by 2035 as part of a quest to manage “big city disease”, the cabinet has said.

...“By 2035, the resident population in Shanghai will be controlled at around 25 million and the total amount of land made available for construction will not exceed 3,200 square kilometres,” it said.

State media has defined “big city disease” as arising when a megacity becomes plagued with environmental pollution, traffic congestion and a shortage of public services, including education and medical care.

Many of China’s biggest cities also face surging house prices, stirring fears of a property bubble.
The difference between a city such as Shanghai and San Francisco is that Shanghai has formalized political power. It can cap its population and that is that. In San Francisco the people want the same thing, but they have to use environmental regulations, minimum wage laws, permitting and other policies to drive poor people away. It creates a complex mess of economic regulations that could be solved if San Franciscans had ownership of their city.

America and China are different countries and cultures, with different political systems, but the complex ways the American wealthy "gentrify" urban areas is a result of severely weakened property rights. Which is ironic because individual Chinese property rights are even weaker, but they have much greater ability to organize and act as a group. In the United States, city and state power has been greatly diminished by a rising federal bureaucracy, while individuals are constrained by various housing laws.

For those interested, here's coverage of Shanghai's master plan at iFeng: “上海2035”规划正式发布:探索建设自由贸易港

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