Research and other investigations by Matthew Niederhauser out of Beijing, China.

Shanghai World Financial Center: Peeping Pudong Urban Sprawl

The observation deck for the Shanghai World Financial Center on the left is situated on the 100th floor

The Shanghai World Financial Center (SWFC) is a marvel to behold. Rising above the equally impressive Jin Mao Tower, its graceful arches reach 101 stories, the second-tallest building in the world. The SWFC also ranks as number one for the highest occupied floor in the world, beating out the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, and sports the world’s tallest observation deck. The Observatory Bridge runs along the top of the trapezoidal opening near the apex of the SWFC and offers generous views of Shanghai on all sides. During my trip earlier this month, I picked a particularly clear day to visit. The light hitting the Pudong side was the best and offered uninhibited views of the vast urban sprawl that now characterizes the edges of Shanghai.

Urban sprawl in Pudong from the top of the Shanghai World Financial CenterUrban sprawl in Pudong from the top of the Shanghai World Financial Center

Urban sprawl in Pudong from the top of the Shanghai World Financial CenterUrban sprawl in Pudong from the top of the Shanghai World Financial Center

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