Songjiang, once called Huating in ancient times, and also known as Yunjian, Rongcheng and Gushui, is a famous town south of the Yangtze River. In 751 of the Tang Dynasty, Songjiang was named Huating County. In 1277 during the Yuan Dynasty, it was named Huating Prefecture, which was changed to Songjiang Prefecture the next year. Then in 1895 in the Qing Dynasty it was developed into Songjiang Prefecture with Huating, Shanghai, Qingpu, Lou, Fengxian, Jinshan, Nanhui and Chuansha Counties subject to it. In 1912, when the prefecture was abolished, Huating and Lou were merged into Huating County. After liberation, the area became known as Songjiang Special District. In March 1958, it was called Suzhou Special District, and in November, it became a county of Shanghai. Then in February 1998, the State Council approved it to be a district.
By the end of 2013, Songjiang District governed 11 towns and four sub-districts. There are 185 neighborhood committees and 86 village committees in the district. In Songjiang there are state-level economic and technology development zones, the state-level Songjiang Export Processing Zone and Sheshan National Tourism and Resort Area. It’s a key area to be developed as Shanghai is shifting its development focus from urban to rural during the 12th Five-Year P eriod.
From 2003 to 2012, Songjiang received numerous awards including: international garden city from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), National Hygienic District, National Model Green City, National Landscaping Advanced City, National Ecological Water Conservancy District, China Human Settlement Model Award, National Double Support Model City, National Science Popularization Model City, National Cultural Relic Protection Model District and Top 10 Leisure City of China. Other honors include: National Leading Peace Construction District, National Leading Amateur Sports Activity Unit, National Advanced Economic Census Unit, National Model District on Using Land Intensively and Economically, National Leading Civil Air Defense Unit, National Model City for the Disabled, National Leading District on Legal Publicity, National Model District on Community Red Cross Service, National Leading Unit on Elderly Care, National Model City on Sunshine Home.