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A megacity is a region that has a population greater than 10 million. It seems the term was created for cities like Shanghai, China. In 2000, the fast-growing city was home to 16.4 million people. Shanghai’s population exceeded 22 million in 2019. It’s the largest city in China and 8th largest in the world.

Shanghai sits on the Yangtze River delta along China’s eastern coast. The city covers about 6,333 square kilometers, an area slightly more than that covered by Toronto, Canada (5,901 square kilometers). But Shanghai has a population nearly 3.5 times higher than Toronto.

Much of Shanghai’s growth has been in suburban and outlying districts. The Landsat imagery makes this clear as the smaller populated areas outside of Shanghai expand and then are absorbed by the urban expansion. Growth is also notable along transportation systems. Landsat data provides insight into urban planning and sustainable development.


Every picture has a story to tell
Apr. 23, 1984, Landsat 5 (path/row 118/38,39) — Shanghai, China
Aug. 11, 1989, Landsat 5 (path/row 118/38,39) — Shanghai, China
Aug. 12, 1995, Landsat 5 (path/row 118/38,39) — Shanghai, China
Sept. 18, 2000, Landsat 7 (path/row 118/38,39) — Shanghai, China
July 19, 2004, Landsat 5 (path/row 118/38,39) — Shanghai, China
Sept. 19, 2009, Landsat 5 (path/row 118/38,39) — Shanghai, China
Nov. 4, 2014, Landsat 8 (path/row 118/38,39) — Shanghai, China
Aug. 24, 2017, Landsat 8 (path/row 118/38,39) — Shanghai, China
July 29, 2019, Landsat 8 (path/row 118/38,39) — Shanghai, China
Apr. 29, 2021, Landsat 8 (path/row 118/38,39) — Shanghai, China
Apr. 8, 2022, Landsat 9 (path/row 118/38,39) — Shanghai, China


Additional story information


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