As the capital city of Hunan province, Changsha now governs the six districts of Furong, Tianxin, Yuelu, Kaifu, Yuhua and Wangcheng and the two counties of Changsha and Ningxiang as well as the city of Liuyang. The city owns five national development zones including Changsha High-tech Zone, Changsha Economic Development Zone, Ningxiang Economic Development Zone, Liuyang Economic Development Zone and Wangcheng Economic Development Zone, and nine provincial zones including Jinxia Development Zone. Changsha boasts a total area of 11800 square kilometers, of which 1909.86 square kilometers are urban, and the city has a completed construction area of 320 square kilometers with an urbanization rate reaching 68.5%. Until 2012, Changsha had 7.15 million residents, of whom 3.7 million were living in the urban area.
Changsha is a “historical city” well-known at home and abroad. The name of “Changsha” was first seen in the West Zhou Dynasty 3000 years ago. In later dynasties, Changsha was always an important city of Hunan and a key town in Southern China. After the founding of the People’s Republic of China, Changsha, as the capital city of Hunan province, was made one of the first group of 24 historical cities in China by the State Council of China. Since the 1970s, a large number of historical relics have been unearthed in the city, of which the West Han Tomb excavated in Mawangdui and the Inscribed Bamboo Slips of Sun Wu from the Three Kingdoms Period uncovered in Zoumalou have shocked the world.
Changsha is a “Cultural City” gathering great culture and professionals. It is a remarkable place producing outstanding people and brilliant minds. The world’s cultural celebrity Qu Yuan, Han Dynasty outstanding politician Jia Yi and Tang Dynasty great poet Du Fu all “moved to Changsha” and left their masterpieces by the Xiangjiang River. The Song Dynasty’s famous Confucian scholar Zhu Xi and Zhang Shi even held lectures at the thousand-year old Yuelu Academy and gradually formed the Huxiang Culture which had a far-reaching influence with the “statecraft ideology” as its core. “The elites were bred in Chu, and the best were gathering here.” Since the mid-Qing Dynasty, such celebrities as Zeng Guofan and Zuo Zongtang have all studied at the Yuelu Academy.
Changsha is a “holy and revolutionary city” giving birth to a multitude of heroes. Changsha has a glorious tradition in revolution and is known as “the cradle of revolution” in China. In the modern Chinese history that featured big turmoil, talented people came forth in large numbers in Changsha. Such pioneers of the Revolution of 1911 as Huang Xing and Cai E, have all left their footprints of struggle in the City which also gave birth to a large number of proletarian revolutionaries and outstanding leaders shining in the annals of China, including Mao Zedong and Liu Shaoqi. All this has made the city one of the birthplaces of China’s revolution.
Changsha is a “landscape city” full of beauty. The Yuelu Mountain looks like fire with its autumn maple trees. The Tianxin Pavilion offers a magnificent vista when looking far from it. The Xiangjiang water flows upward to the north, and the Orange Island lies restfully in the middle of a river. There is also the Dawei Mountain Forest Park and the Huitang Hot spring along with a number of celebrities’ residences, all of which are either famous destinations of tourism or sightseeing, making Changsha one of the first group of excellent tourism cities by the State Council of China.