In the last 100 years or so, Shanghai, the megacity on the eastern coast of China, has seen incredible economic, industrial, and population growth. While it has long been a large and important seaport, it wasn’t until the 1990s that urbanization and expansion really exploded in Shanghai, turning it into a modern mecca.
Since the 1980s, when China’s markets were opened up to trade with the West, the city has grown rapidly. In 2001, the population was 13.3 million, more than 2.5 times what the population was in 1949. Today, the population is more than 24 million, making it the third largest city in the world.
And infrastructure has grown accordingly. Shanghai now has more skyscrapers than New York and a more expansive public transit system than London.In pictures, this growth is quite striking.
The original image of Shanghai’s financial district of Pudong, seen above, was taken by a Reuters photographer in 1987. In 2013, another photographer, Carlos Barria, took a photograph from the same vantage point. The difference that 26 years has made on Shanghai is astonishing.