Shanghai has been ranked No. 8 among the top 50 cultural cities in the world.
The ranking list was the second edition jointly produced by a team from Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s China Institute for Urban Governance and another from the University of Southern California.
The top 10 are New York City, London, Tokyo, Paris, San Francisco, Beijing, Los Angeles, Shanghai, Seoul and Berlin. Both Beijing and Shanghai ranked one place higher than in the first edition. Three other Chinese cities — Hong Kong, Guangzhou and Taipei — are 15th, 31st and 35th, respectively.
The ranking is based on the assessment of 49 variables related to humanistic ecology, public cultural facilities and supplies, public participation in cultural activities, cultural markets, cultural economy development, cultural education, Internet development, cultural tourism and global cultural influence.
New York City’s highest scores were in humanistic ecology, public participation in cultural activities and cultural economy development, while London’s in global cultural influence, Tokyo’s in cultural tourism and Paris’ in public cultural supplies.
Shanghai was ranked in the top 10 in five areas — cultural tourism, public participation in cultural activities, cultural education, Internet development and public cultural supplies.
Shanghai was ranked highly in several specific areas — including No. 1 for amount of teahouses and cafes and No. 2 for quantity of restaurants.
Shanghai also did well in Internet development with its number of 4G/5G base stations ranked the second, just behind Beijing.
As for longevity, Shanghai was sixth with average life expectancy of 83.66 years last year.
The city came up short in certain areas, such as the number of museums per million residents in which it ranked 40th.
Xu Jian, vice dean of the Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s China Institute for Urban Governance, pointed out that Shanghai currently lacks cultural landmarks.
“Top cities have top cultural landmarks, such as Broadway and Times Square in New York and the West End of London,” said Xu. “Shanghai lacks such landmarks. Even some famous areas, such as the Bund, are treated by tourists as backgrounds for taking photos rather than cultural hotspots.”
He thinks Shanghai should develop the 45km waterfront area along the Huangpu River into a super cultural landmark mecca.
Shanghai International Culture Association
Address: 5F, No.1 Building, 543 Xinhua Road, Shanghai, China