Since the mid-19th century, Shanghai has been a magnet for international immigration, business, and cultural sophistication. After WWII, and particularly 1949, when the People’s Republic of China was created, the city retreated into darker political and economic times that saw a deterioration in infrastructure and halted modernization and development.
In 1978, China opened itself to the world and amid the ensuing development, Shanghai’s has been perhaps the most prolific and rapid that the world has ever seen. "Megacity: Shanghai’s Journey from Croplands to Concrete" is an academic exhibit that explains Shanghai’s growth from shortly after the time of China’s reopening in 1978 to the present day and beyond. through the lenses of population growth, infrastructure development, and changes in land use.