Chongming Island Master Plan

Long considered Shanghai’s “rice bowl” due to its fertile land and agricultural production, Chongming Island is one of the largest alluvial islands in the world. Located at the mouth of the Yangtze River, the 1,940-square-kilometer island is home to more than 600,000 people and operates as one of Shanghai’s five municipal districts.

SOM’s master plan repositions Chongming as a “green island,” focusing on promoting agricultural output and preserving natural wetlands that serve Asia’s primary avian flyways. In addition, the scheme embraces Shanghai’s rapid growth by developing eight new cities, for nearly one million residents, that cover just 15 percent of the island. Each community will consist of walkable and accessible districts, with rail connections to city centers. The plan also creates new recreational and ecological conservation areas.


  • It is the intention of the Master Plan that not only the specific concepts be transferable across regions and scales, but that the idea of interconnection between the built and natural worlds must become part of the Chinese planner’s thought process. It is a plan that integrates the unique particularities of this special place and incorporates them into the basic premises of the plan.
  • Articulates a plan for a 750 square-mile island, and incorporates concepts for the development of cities, villages, farming, industry and economic growth and environmental systems. Vision for the preservation of key wildlife habitats and ecosystems


  • Creating Communities in Nature While Creating a Premier Ecological Tourist Destination
  • Elevating Farming to a 21st Century Green Industry
  • Creating Systems that Ensure Environmental Quality
  • Creating Green Transportation Options
  • Creating New Settings for 40 Farm Villages
  • Creating New, Clean Industries and Compact, Mixed Use Cities along the Waterfront



The Shanghai Planning Bureau
Municipality of Shanghai; People’s Republic of Chinas

Architects & Designers:

SOM (Skidmore, Owings and Merrill)

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