Birth of the Chinese mega-city
As far as before and after shots, go, it's a spectacular transformation. From an area of farmland to a forest of skyscrapers, Shanghai's financial district Pudong has developed at a staggering pace in the last few decades.
And to prove it, two shots of the city taken 26 years apart document the explosion of construction of skyscrapers that now dominate Shanghai's futuristic skyline.
The first image shows Pudong, the area to the east of Huangpu river in 1987. With patches of greenery, its farming roots ares still visible, but it is dotted with low-rise factories and offices.
Small-scale: Shanghai's Pudong district (seen across the river) is an area of warehouses and factories. Some greenery from the district's farming roots remain
According to the Telegraph, the second photograph was taken last week. It shows a district of sleek, high-rise skyscrapers, each one more impressive and futuristic than its neighbour.
Plans to develop the area into a 'Special Economic Zone' were launched by the Communist Party in Beijing in 1990 and 'Pudong New Area' was officially set up three years later. Now the crowded commercial hub of China and the country's first super-tall district, Pudong also boasts the world's second tallest building- Shanghai tower- which was completed on Saturday.
The staggering 2,073ft tall Shanghai Tower looms high above the dozens of skyscrapers which make up China's financial capital.
Science fiction fantasy: The futuristic-looking Pudong district is made up of dozens of skyscrapers, each more modern and ambitious than the last
It rises to complete a trio of towers including the adjacent Jin Mao Tower and Shanghai World Financial Center.
And if this wasn't testament enough to the city's position as a world financial leader, a Chinese consortium has already expressed a desire to build the world's tallest tower - all 2,749ft of it.
If construction of the planned 220-storey 'Sky City', in Changsa, the provicincial capital of Hunan, takes place, it would dwarf the current world's tallest building, the 2,716ft tall Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
Shanghai Tower has the world's fastest lifts, with the Mitsubishi-designed, double-height cabs whisking building occupants and visitors skyward at 40 mph using innovative technologies designed specifically for the tower.
Designer Art Gensler said: 'Shanghai Tower represents a new way of defining and creating cities.
'By incorporating best practices in sustainability and high-performance design, by weaving the building into the urban fabric of Shanghai and drawing community life into the building, Shanghai Tower redefines the role of tall buildings in contemporary cities and raises the bar for the next generation of super-highrises.'
Reuters photographer Carlos Barria recently spent time in Shanghai, China, the fastest-growing city in the world. A week ago, he took this amazing shot, recreating the same framing and perspective as a photograph taken in 1987, showing what a difference 26 years can make. The setting is Shanghai's financial district of Pudong, dominated by the Oriental Pearl Tower at left, and the new 125-story Shanghai Tower, China's tallest building and the world's second tallest skyscraper, at 632 meters (2,073 ft) high, scheduled to finish by the end of 2014. Shanghai, the largest city by population in the world, has been growing at a rate of about 10 percent a year the past 20 years, and now is home to 23.5 million people -- nearly double what it was back in 1987. This entry is focused on this single photo pairing, with several ways to compare the two.
An animated combination picture shows the financial district of Pudong in 1987 and in 2013 with the nearly-complete Shanghai Tower, in the financial district of Pudong in Shanghai, on July 31, 2013. (Reuters/Stringer, Carlos Barria)
A before-after pair of images shows the financial district of Pudong in 1987 and in 2013 (click to fade) with the nearly-complete Shanghai Tower, in the financial district of Pudong in Shanghai, on July 31, 2013. [click image to view transition](Reuters/Stringer, Carlos Barria) #
A wider view, showing the financial district of Pudong in 1987 and in 2013 (click to fade), on July 31, 2013. Click here to see the fullsize (2,448px wide) before and after images. [click image to view transition] (Reuters/Stringer, Carlos Barria)
Don't look down: The breathtaking view from the top of the Shanghai Tower- now the world's second tallest building- shows the city's skyscrapers from a new perspective. The 2,073ft tall tower dwarfs the neighbouring buildings