Set over five levels, this modern museum covers Shànghǎi's urban planning history, tracing its development from swampy fishing village to modern-day megacity. Its mix of photography, models and interactive multimedia displays keeps things entertaining. The 1st floor covers the city's rise, including the establishment of the international settlement, and profiles its colonial architecture and shíkùmén (stone gate) housing. The most popular feature is on the 3rd floor – a visually stunning model showing a detailed layout of this megalopolis-to-be, plus an impressive Virtual World 3D wraparound tour.
The 4th floor is a bit more niche, covering themes of transport and sustainability, but all is well presented. There's a small cafe on the 5th floor overlooking People's Park. Audio guides are ¥20, but exhibits are generally well-captioned. The 2nd floor shows temporary exhibits.
Upon exiting you'll find yourself in 'Old Shanghai Street', a re-creation of 1930s Shànghǎi, complete with vintage cars, historical photographs and a cobble-stone walkway that leads to a modern underground shopping plaza.