Shenyang, the provincial capital of Liaoning Province, contains ten districts, one city and two counties. With an urban population of 5.74 million, Shenyang has the largest urban population in Northeast China, ranking within the top ten largest urban cities in China. Shenyang serves as a cultural hub, as it is home to 38 Chinese ethnic groups, as well as foreigners.
Foreigners are particularly drawn to Shenyang because it functions as a center for heavy industry. Trade partners include Japan, Russia, Korea, and top partner, Germany. Shenyang’s highly developed transportation infrastructure, in particular its extensive road and expressway network, provides the basis for industrial markets. More recently, Shenyang has become an attraction for the auto industry, housing BMW Group’s first competence center outside of Europe (China Daily). This joint venture between BMW and Brilliance will be important for future economic development in Shenyang; “Manufacturing [BMW’s] most advanced engines in China with its latest core technologies shows BMW’s confidence in the Chinese market and its commitment to its localization strategy”(China Daily). In addition, the joint venture will attract non-auto German firms, like electronics, to Shenyang (ejinsight). Both will generate job creation, which is important in sustaining the growing urban population.
While Shenyang experienced one of the largest absolute increases in urban planning and construction in China between 2000-2010, the city remains conscious about environmental stability. During this growth, Shenyang reduced their number of heating enterprises by 1,000 plants and in 2012 Chicago had CO2 emissions 200% higher than Shenyang (Urban China 2014 WB Book). Cities, like Wuxi and Shanghai, should emulate Shenyang’s efforts to balance urbanization and growth with environmental sustainability.
Sources: National Bureau of Statistics China