China's Shanghai to battle 'big city disease' by limiting population to 25 million

Shanghai had a permanent population of 24.15 million at the end of 2015.
Shanghai had a permanent population of 24.15 million at the end of 2015.PHOTO: REUTERS

SHANGHAI (REUTERS) - China's financial hub of Shanghai will limit its population to 25 million people by 2035 as part of a quest to manage "big city disease", the Cabinet has said.

The State Council said on its website late on Monday (Dec 25) the goal to control the size of the city was part of Shanghai's masterplan for 2017 to 2035, which the government body had approved.

"By 2035, the resident population in Shanghai will be controlled at around 25 million and the total amount of land made available for construction will not exceed 3,200 sq km," it said.

State media has defined "big city disease" as arising when a megacity becomes plagued with environmental pollution, traffic congestion and a shortage of public services, including education and medical care.

Many of China's biggest cities also face surging house prices, stirring fears of a property bubble.

Shanghai, which sits on China's eastern coast, had a permanent population of 24.15 million at the end of 2015, the official Xinhua news agency said last year.

The city has also said it would intensify efforts to protect the environment and historic sites as part of its masterplan.