The Shanghai skyline - one of the world's most beautiful. Shanghai is rapidly becoming one of the most exciting cities on Earth. It has undoubtedly one of the most beautiful skylines, and the pace of development is extraordinary. As China positions itself to overtake the US economy within the next few years, Shanghai resembles Manhattan in the 1890s - a dynamic, modern, powerhouse city designed for the future, but with evocative echoes of the past, not least in what remains of its wonderful Art Deco architecture. Stunning Shanghai architecture. Shanghai's architecture is fresh and vital, a beautiful combination of the new, the functional and the decorative. Its city planners have a bold vision - and both the resources and support to accomplish what would be far more challenging in many of the world's major cities, where zoning laws and (albeit often warranted) protection of historical buildings make achieving major changes to the cityscape difficult.