Bund skyline, 1930s
British-style building in former foreign concessions
Jazz Age apartment building (plaque reads:
Skyscrapers under construction in Pudong's financial district

Bund skyline, 1930s

British-style building in former foreign concessions

Jazz Age apartment building (plaque reads: "Formerly Cosmopolitan Mansions")

Skyscrapers under construction in Pudong's financial district

    Shanghai

    Transformed from a regional market town into the fastest-growing city on earth in the wake of the First Opium War in the 1840s, Shanghai was built by British, French, and American imperialists to look just like home. Today, the city’s former foreign concessions still boast tree- and café-lined boulevards to rival Paris and a Jazz Age skyline like a Gershwin-era Manhattan frozen in amber.

    Today, as its Communist authorities reclaim Shanghai’s historic mantle as “the Wall Street of Asia,” the city is undergoing a tremendous building spree. With bullet trains shooting into the future and a government stuck in the last century, Shanghai embodies all the promise and contradictions of twenty-first-century China.



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