By Lauren, Year 10

Written as part of Factory Feedback

Shanghai, China, which is also known as ‘Oriental Paris’, is China’s biggest, richest and most popular city. Shanghai’s location coordinates are 31.2304° N, 121.4737° E and is in the continent, Asia. In 2018, there were approximately 24.24 million people living there in which there could be around 25 million people till this day. According to the World Population Review, in the 2010 Census, 89.3% of Shanghai are urban, and 10.7% are rural. Shanghai’s area size is 6340km and is only 1.1% of China’s overall population.

To start off with, Shanghai has maintained important industries such as economic, financial, trade and shipping centers. Since Shanghai’s economy has relied and depended too much on their manufacturing industry, a consequence they have endured is requiring to spend even extra large amounts of money to build a bigger and better economy. Building/upgrading trading and shipping centres demands additional money for land plus the energy that they use to attempt and receive more money out of it. Since Shanghai has been focusing and spending too much on building their economy, they lose track on fixing or changing the other issues like their air quality. According to China Briefing, Shanghai spends a total of a whopping $1,266.8 billion US on their import and exports which shows how the Shanghai government is too dependable on building their economy. Therefore, an economic problem Shanghai has encountered is spending billions of dollars on upgrading their economy instead of focusing on issues like air and water quality.

Additionally, Shanghai has faced a huge problem about job employment and income. With the 25 million people that live in Shanghai, it’s extremely hard and difficult to find a right fitting job for their preference to provide money for their family which includes housing, medication, bills, food etc. Also, considering the huge amount of people that live in Shanghai there can be not enough jobs for every single person. The Shanghai Government is working to create new jobs, although they can be extremely hard and stressful and workers get poorly paid to work long hours in dangerous conditions. According to statista In 2018, 9.74 million people are jobless in China with no money income. Thus, an economic issue that Shanghai has faced is providing enough high paid and safer condition jobs for families to provide the necessities they need.

Furthermore, Shanghai has endured a social consequence which is overpopulation and congestion. With the 25 million people that live in Shanghai with such little space can cause lack housing which leads to homelessness and poverty, public transportation like buses to get more busier, harder and longer for emergency personnel to drive to destinations due to traffic, schools to be overcrowded and have not enough space for kids to learn, increased noise and road accidents and not enough jobs, medication and resources for the whole population of Shanghai. If resources run out quickly and are on low, the Shanghai Government would have to supply and spend extra money on medication, food etc. With all these problems due to overpopulation it’s harder for people living there to maintain a healthy and sustainable environment/life. For example, according to the World Population Review, it is estimated by 2050 there will be 50 million people which is almost double the rate than it is now. This statistic shows that if overpopulation is an ongoing problem, living in Shanghai can be unsafe and difficult to live as it is extremely hard to sustain a good life. Therefore, a social problem that Shanghai has endured is overpopulation which can affect the government and families in providing enough money for good education and a sustainable lifestyle. 

Moreover, Shanghai has faced a major environmental urbanisation problem which is awful air pollution/quality as it is the biggest challenge for public health. The air in Shanghai is extremely poor because of industrial emissions and coal. Most coal used in China is significantly poor quality as it is high in sulfur and ash. In some rural areas coal and biomass fuels are still used in stoves which can cause indoor air pollution and can affect the people living inside the house. Air pollution can possibly result in lung cancer, acute respiratory infection, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. There are approximately 10,000 sources of air emissions in use which also 7000 of them being coal burning boilers. Industrial emissions produce dangerous and poisonous toxins which can as well, affect the air quality in Shanghai. Another producer and contributor of harming toxins are cars and trucks. According to a report from July 2014, Shanghai air pollution is composed of vehicle and factory emissions (50%) dust from construction sites (10.5%), power stations: (7.3%). Hence, an environmental issue Shanghai has encountered is poor air quality as it can affect people’s health and wellbeing. 

Consequently, Shanghai has endured a serious environmental issue which is poor water quality. Water can be used for drinking, bathing, cooking, agricultural activities like farming, industrial activities like manufacturing, and irrigation activities like swimming. Since the water in Shanghai is extremely polluted, it can affect people’s health and put a restriction to do activities. Authorities in Shanghai say over 2500 lakes and rivers are immensely polluted. Tap water in Shanghai is extremely contaminated with bacteria/toxins and is unsafe to drink. It is not filtered well and not cleaned and can carry hazardous contaminants such as chlorine and sediments. Although semi-polluted water can be used for farming and industrial activities, it can strongly affect the quality of the object/plant produced. Therefore, an environmental problem Shanghai has faced is bad/poor water quality which can be not safe for people’s health, can affect the quality of an item made and make restrictions for everyone’s daily activities. 

Moreover, Shanghai has been significantly known for its big growth in tourism across China especially with its beautiful harbour and historical sights in the city. This is a big employer of population as tourists won’t travel to a polluted city, cutting down businesses. With its huge airport and large busy, adorned harbour this city of lights relies very heavily on tourism. Clean water and clean air to breathe will keep the tourists as well as the locals healthy. Thus, tourism is a big factor contributing to its businesses and economy.

Due to all these economic, social and environmental consequences, the Shanghai Government has thought of management strategies to help control these problems. Economic strategies the government has come up with is to increase the amount of jobs and to open more opportunities for the people without jobs. Social strategies the Shanghai Government used to implement is the one child policy as it was introduced by Deng Xiaoping in 1979 to help minimise overpopulation and it was announced in 2015 to no longer have the policy. Fortunately, without the one child policy the population would have 200-300 million more. The Central and Shanghai Government has implemented laws to help minimise the environmental problems. Strategies such as from 1st October 1997 leaded petrol in motor vehicles are banned, increase emission charges and improve the coal quality to reduce the sulphur and ash. The Shanghai Government has implemented these strategies which include laws to reduce the impact of these problems.

In conclusion there are many economic, social and environmental consequences and issues, although the Shanghai Government is doing its best to help minimise the problems and help increase the quality of life for its people.

Factory Feedback was created with, and generously supported by, the Dusseldorp Forum.

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