Attributes San Francisco Shanghai
Population of the metropolitan area 6,000,000 12,000,000
Number of family units 2,246,000 3,500,000
Average size of the family unit 2.61 3.30
Metropolitan area (km2) 18,000 6,000
Population density (pop/km2) 333 2,000
Population of the central city 724,000 6,000,000
Area of the central city (km2) 121 300
Population density in the central area (pop/km2) 5,983 20,000
Number of bicycles 2,000,000 7,000,000
Number of cars 4,000,000 340,000
Cars per persons 664 / 1,000 28 / 1,000
Share of cycling 1.0% 33.0%
Share of walking 10.0% 20.0%
Share of public transit 7.5% 40.0%
Share of driving 81.5% 7.0%
Average daily usage of public transit (M) 1.5 15.5
Data is for 1993.
Two Cities, Two Transportation / Land Use Systems: San Francisco and Shanghai
The above two tables underline differences in transportation / land use strategies, which are sometimes conflicting. For instance the goal of having a high quality of the urban environment may conflict with minimizing transportation costs and the impacts over the environment. One of the most important difference lies in density. Shanghai has twice the population of San Francisco (1993), but its metropolitan area is only a third.
  • San Francisco: Characterized by average density and a dominance of the automobile. Limited importance of the State in planning processes (self-regulated).
  • Shanghai: High density and heavy reliance of waling, cycling and public transit. Importance of planning agencies.