- April 1, 2022: Vol. 14, Number 4

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Future-facing: Shanghai has untapped potential for urban renewal and retrofit

by Caroline Dellasega

Shanghai is China’s most commercial and dynamic city, and a global megalopolis with a GDP higher than many developed countries. Driven by a mix of industries, its economic base is diverse and durable. Real estate development is being shaped by its evolution into a polycentric city, with distinct neighbourhood characteristics and top-level policy drivers that both support urban renewal and stimulate occupational demand.

The city core, like many others worldwide, has limited land for new development, and urban renewal is a priority policy objective. The development direction focuses on creating diverse urban communities, including an integrated mix of commercial, leisure and residential uses. According to Cushman & Wakefield, 3.9 million square metres of new grade A office is planned for development in the next four years, accounting for some 27 percent of the existing stock. Only one-third of this new development is in core areas.

Some 11 million square metres of

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