The Shanghai Manual 2018 Annual Report focuses on three key elements.
First, it probes the theme of ecological cities and green development from the six perspectives developed since the World Expo 2010: ecology, society, culture, economics, governance and international cooperation, rather than a singular approach focusing only on the ecological environment. In doing so, 2018 Annual Report approaches the topic in an integrated and holistic manner, and highlights the importance of sustainable development,a fundamental principle of the United Nations. This also emphasises
the importance of addressing the complexities of sustainable urban development through an integrated and interdisciplinary approach.
Second, 2018 Annual Report further consists of a set of eighteen representative cases from the six perspectives. The cases comprise real practical cases, geographical representation, learning and replication.
Third, 2018 Annual Report extracts and summarises policy suggestions through the eighteen case studies, seeking to inspire cities worldwide in their journeys towards sustainable urban development.