Prior to 1963, Shah Alam was known as Sungai Renggam and was a palm oil plantation nestled between Petaling Jaya and the Royal Town of Klang, connected by the only highway back then, the Federal Highway.
Shah Alam was open in 1963 to become the administrative centre of Selangor after Kuala Lumpur was made the Federal Territory on 1 February, 1974. On December 7, 1978 at the pleasure of the 8th Sultan of Selangor, the late Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Al-Haj, Shah Alam was declared as the capital of Selangor, with an area of 41.69 square km. Shah Alam has undergone several expansions since then, the most recent on January 1, 1997. Through the Gazette Plan 1190, Shah Alam has been extended to 290.3 square km to date.
The rapid development of Shah Alam and its increasing importance has led to an elevation of status with it being declared a city on 10 October, 2000. The declaration was made by YAB Dato' Seri Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo, the 13th Chief Minister of Selangor. The Shah Alam Municipal Council which has been the local authority since 1978 was automatically promoted to the Shah Alam City Council. Density of population was forecasted at 450,000 by 2010, the result of emigration across the country due to employment opportunities and from the increase in the number of births.