"Foreigners consider [Kangbashi] to be abandoned. Chinese consider the city to be still developing," [photographer Raphael Olivier] explains.
"A lot of the early news reports focus on it being a failed, weird place -- but it's also a huge accomplishment and people there are not necessarily unhappy, there is a huge sense of hope. You have to respect that on a certain level." — CNN
Masdar City, when it was first conceived a decade ago, was intended to revolutionise thinking about cities and the built environment.
Now the world’s first planned sustainable city – the marquee project of the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) plan to diversify the economy from fossil fuels - could well be the world’s first green ghost town.
As of this year [...] managers have given up on the original goal of building the world’s first planned zero-carbon city. — theguardian.com
Manhattan may be a bustling metropolis filled with busy people rushing off to work, the theatre, restaurants and the myriad attractions the city has to offer. A replica in China, complete with knock-offs of Rockefeller Center and the Hudson River, is missing that one key element that makes New York, New York: the people. [...]
“All of these tall buildings just appeared,” one local man recently told CTV News. — ctvnews.ca
"The pied-à-terre tax is seen by New York’s wealthiest 1 percent as a question of fairness" - James Parrott, the chief economist at the Fiscal Policy Institute — NYT
The region of Ordos made headlines in 2010 for the pre-built metropolis that had everything but people. Now, however, Kangbashi city is rapidly filling up with country people who are being encouraged to live in cities and diversify China’s economy. For ageing farmers who’ve spent their whole life on the land, however, becoming “urbanites” is a tall order. — theguardian.com
The skyline of Yujiapu in the Chinese city of Tianjin looks more like an expensive, abandoned movie set than it does “China’s new Manhattan,” as the financial district was once billed. A patina of dust covers the glass doors of the 47 office buildings and hotels that still sit empty, and in come cases unfinished. — qz.com
Cities like Yingkou in China’s northeast rust belt were among the earliest cities in the country to be overbuilt. [...] Yingkou, along with other cities, sold vast tracts of lands to developers to build apartments for the workers who – they hoped – would populate the new factories, malls and industrial parks to come. [...]
But investments have been slow to materialize, and newcomers are scarce in Yingkou, a city of 2.4 million with a population that hasn’t grown much in the past few years. — blogs.wsj.com
Ordos fell away beneath us: a wide, sweeping wasteland of empty towers and silent, disused streets. ...The odd car moved slowly along the main road, where it looped around the centre of Kangbashi to cross the Ordos bridge, and out towards Dongsheng – but for the most part, from this height, Kangbashi looked like a model city; its radical architecture reduced to novelty ornaments, its unfinished towers scattered like broken bricks across a sandpit. — Business Insider
For those who do not believe travelers’ tales, there is the Chinese government’s own report, from 2010, concluding that home ownership rates in China were then nearly 90%. This compares with a world average of 63% and a U.S. average of 65%. — Forbes
The $3.5 billion development covers 12,355 acres and was built to house about 500,000 people, and this is one of "several satellite cities being constructed by Chinese firms around Angola," writes Redvers. — businessinsider.com
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