On July 7, 1927, it was officially declared to establish "Shanghai Special Municipality", directly under the national government. This was the first time to identify the "Municipality" as an administrative unit, marking the beginning of Shanghai Municipality.
On September 23, 1952, Yangjing District was split into two districts, Dongchang and Yangjing, due to its large jurisdiction. Two suburban districts, Jiangwan and Xinshi, got merged into an administrative region, named Jiangwan District. Shanghai had jurisdiction over 30 districts at that time (21 urban districts, 9 suburban districts).
In February 1956, the state council approved the adjustment of administrative divisions. After amalgamative adjustment, the whole city had jurisdiction over 15 urban districts, 3 suburban districts and 1 Water District.
In November 1953, Shanghai had a water area of 24.5 square kilometers, 16,655 boats and 74,437 water-side population, most of whom took boats as their residences. In order to strengthen the democratic construction of Shanghai waters, Water District was established with jurisdiction over Shanghai’s major rivers including Huangpu River, Suzhou Creek and their branches. Shanghai had jurisdiction over 31 districts at that time.
Adjustments in communes and brigades in 1966
In 1950, the people's government of all districts got established, the party and the government adopted different policies for urban and agricultural areas. After some adjustment, Shanghai’s jurisdictional districts turned into 18 in 1956.
Traced back to the Song Dynasty, Shanghai was named after a tributary of Wusong River called Shanghai Pu. In 1292, Shanghai was transformed from a town into a county.
In May 1949, the Shanghai Municipal People's Government was established, with 20 urban districts and 10 suburban districts under its jurisdiction. The total population is about 5.4 million, of which the urban population is about 4.5 million.
In 1945, after the victory of the war of resistance against Japan, the municipal government returned Nanhui, Fengxian, Chuansha, Jiading, Baoshan and Chongming Counties to Jiangsu Province, Shanghai’s administrative districts were divided according to police regions with numbers representing districts, 1 to 20 for the urban districts, 21 to 32 for the suburban districts. In January 1946, due to the inconvenience of the numbers to remember and use, Shanghai’s districts were renamed after their geographic names.