Shanghai is Most Sustainable City in Mainland China

Editorial Team
By Editorial Team
Shanghai is Most Sustainable City in Mainland China

Shanghai ranks eighth in Asia Pacific on the inaugural Sustainable Cities Index from Arcadis, the leading global natural and built asset design and consultancy firm. 

The Index, which was conducted by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) explores social (People), environmental (Planet) and economic (Profit) demands to develop an indicative ranking of 50 of the world’s leading cities. The 2015 report finds that no utopian city exists, with city leaders having to manage a complex balancing act between these three key pillars of sustainability. Frankfurt sits in first place, followed by London and Copenhagen on the ranking. 

Beijing is ninth and Wuhan is thirteen on the Asia-Pacific ranking.  The research also finds that one of the biggest challenges facing Shanghai, and many other tier one cities in China, will be around improving the quality of the living environment. Directives within the most recent Five Year Plan have driven a renewed focus on cleaning up old industrial zones within the Shanghai so that the land can be repurposed for alternative use. Similarly, efforts are underway to try and clean the three main rivers running through the city, to improve water quality, and to future-proof the Northern parts of the city against the risk of flooding.

William Taam, City Executive Director for Shanghai and the Pearl River Delta at Arcadis comments: “Shanghai’s built and natural environments will play a key role in helping to cement its place as the city of the 21st century. There is a lot of work to do and success will be dependent on thorough planning and management of this portfolio of work. However the speed of progress the city has made over the last decade demonstrates what it can achieve. Supported by a well-educated workforce that is increasingly confident around the city’s status, the future looks very bright for Shanghai.” 

The full rankings can be viewed at

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The Editorial team at APAC Outlook Magazine is a team of professional in-house editors led by Alex Tuck, Head of Editorial at Outlook Publishing.