China’s (Vacant) City of the Future

Launched several years ago as a massive public works project near Ordos, a wealthy coal-mining town in Inner Mongolia, today, China’s “City of the Future” remains mostly empty despite being originally designed to house, support and entertain a population the size of San Diego, California.

So much for believing that “if you build it, they will come.”

Still, it’s fantastically impressive that in just five short years the Chinese could build an immense city filled with office towers, commercial districts, administrative centres, government buildings, museums, theatres and sports fields — not to mention acre on acre of subdivisions overflowing with middle-class duplexes and bungalows. It really staggers the imagination when you consider the snail’s pace at which development moves in this country.