China’s ghost towns

Discussion in 'China' started by anoop_mig25, Nov 20, 2010.

  1. anoop_mig25

    anoop_mig25 Senior Member Senior Member

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    http://www.indianexpress.com/news/chinas-ghost-towns/713677/0

    New York Times (although original article appeard at in newyork times i am giving link of indian exprees )Posted: Sat Nov 20 2010

    By many measures, the resource-rich city of Ordos in northern China is a fabulous success. It has huge reserves of coal and natural gas, a fast-growing economy and a property market so sizzling hot that virtually every house put up for sale here is immediately snapped up. There is just one thing largely missing in the city’s extravagant new central district: people. Ordos proper has 1.5 million residents. But the tomorrow-land version of Ordos — built from scratch on a huge plot of empty land 15 miles south of the old city — is all but deserted. Broad boulevards are unimpeded by traffic in the new district, called Kangbashi New Area. Office buildings stand vacant. Pedestrians are in short supply. And weeds are beginning to sprout up in luxury villa developments that are devoid of residents.
    FEW RESIDENTS

    “It’s pretty lonely here,” says a woman named Li Li, the marketing manager of an elegant restaurant in Kangbashi’s mostly vacant Lido Hotel. “Most of the people who come to our restaurant are government officials and their guests. There aren’t any common residents around here.” City leaders, cheered on by aggressive developers, had hoped to turn Ordos into a Chinese version of Dubai — transforming vast plots of the arid, Mongolian steppe into a thriving metropolis. They even invested over $1 billion in their visionary project. But four years after the city government was transplanted to Kangbashi, and with tens of thousands of houses and dozens of office buildings now completed, the 12-square-mile area has been derided in the state-run newspaper China Daily as a “ghost town” monument to excess and misplaced optimism.


    SPECULATIVE BUBBLE

    As China’s roaring economy fuels a wild construction boom around the country, critics cite places like Kangbashi as proof of a speculative real estate bubble they warn will eventually pop — sending shock waves through the banking system of a country that for the last two years has been the prime engine of global growth.

    Just last month, China surprised analysts by slightly raising a benchmark lending rate, apparently to dampen speculation in the property market. But within China, analysts doubt the small increase in lending rates will slow the incredible building bonanza that is reaching even remote regions, like this one.

    Kangbashi was projected to have 300,000 residents by now. And the government claims that 28,000 people live in the new area. But during a recent visit, a reporter driving around for hours with two real estate brokers saw only a handful of residents in the housing developments.

    Analysts estimate there could be as many as a dozen other Chinese cities just like Ordos, with sprawling ghost town annexes. In the southern city of Kunming, for example, a nearly 40-square-mile area called Chenggong has raised alarms because of similarly deserted roads, high-rises and government offices. And in Tianjin, in the northeast, the city spent lavishly on a huge district festooned with golf courses, hot springs and thousands of villas that are still empty five years after completion.

    It might all seem mere nouveau riche folly were it not for China’s national goal of moving hundreds of millions of rural residents to big cities over the next decade, in the hope of creating a large middle class. But determining whether the Ordos-style expansion and re-engineering of old cities is being driven by smart planning or propelled by speculative madness is a prime challenge for Beijing policy makers.

    GOVT MOVES

    Fearing inequality and social unrest, China’s national government has struggled to rein in soaring property prices and stem the threat of inflation, even as ambitious local officials continue to draw up blueprints for new megacities. And if government-run banks balk at providing additional loans to developers, underground, gray-market lenders are only too happy to step in.

    Patrick Chovanec, who teaches business at Tsinghua University in Beijing, says the building boom is driven by frenzied investors — not the housing needs of millions of migrating workers. “People are using real estate as an investment, as a place to store cash — they treat it like gold,” Professor Chovanec said. “They’re stockpiling empty units. This is going on in cities of virtually every size.”

    But here in Ordos, in north China’s sparsely populated Inner Mongolia region, there is little second-guessing. Cranes are everywhere, as construction moves ahead on a $450 million financial district in Kangbashi, a site that will feature six high-rise office towers.

    Property development here is so hot that last year, housing sales in Ordos reached $2.4 billion, up from $100 million in 2004, according to government statistics. During that span, the average square-foot price of commercial and residential property has risen by 260 percent, to $53.

    “This is a city of the future,” Li Hong, a government official, said during a recent tour of Kangbashi. “We are going to build this into a center of politics, culture and technology. That is our dream.” But the future has not yet arrived, despite Li’s best efforts to persuade a visitor otherwise.

    STILL EXPANDING

    City leaders may be basing their optimism on the financial windfall in recent years for Ordos, which sits atop one of the world’s biggest reserves of coal, whose price has soared along with China’s voracious energy appetite. Formerly impoverished, the region now has a growing number of coal millionaires and the nation’s highest gross domestic product per capita ($19,679), with Land Rovers a leading symbol of Ordos’s newfound affluence.

    In 2004, with Ordos tax coffers bulging with coal money, city officials drew up a bold expansion plan to create Kangbashi, a 30-minute drive south of the old city center on land adjacent to one of the region’s few reservoirs. Because land auctions are a major source of fiscal income in China, part of the plan’s allure was the prospect of elevating the value of property in an undeveloped area. In the ensuing building spree, home buyers could not get enough of Kangbashi and its residential developments with names like Exquisite Silk Village, Kanghe Elysees and Imperial Academic Gardens.
     
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  3. badguy2000

    badguy2000 Respected Member Senior Member

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    guy .you are too late. the article was once posted by MR Gordens Changs here already.......
     
  4. anoop_mig25

    anoop_mig25 Senior Member Senior Member

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    whatever but can u provide me with latest update has the said town remain ghost town only or there is some improvement
     
  5. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Last edited: May 10, 2015
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  6. Nonynon

    Nonynon Regular Member

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    Amazing article. Didn't know such a thing exists.
     
  7. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Now Empty stadiums and empty sports complex in Loudi city, China/

     
    Last edited: May 10, 2015
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  8. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Another ghost town in China.

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. SpArK

    SpArK SORCERER Senior Member

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    Make lots of plastics.+ sell them around+build lots of buildings + use netisens to show off in web = Ghost towns all around.
     
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  10. sesha_maruthi27

    sesha_maruthi27 Senior Member Senior Member

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    Why are they building GHOST TOWNS?
     
  11. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    You are asking a question akin to a person who says "Who is Rama after reading whole Ramayana". Read the first post.
     
  12. agentperry

    agentperry Senior Member Senior Member

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    china ghost towns. observed fact long back-means 3-4 years now. its a wasteful and highly risky way of building infrastructure. make a city of this large scale. this provides employment to thousands and but in the end if it is not required or its not required to have it on such a large scale then ultimately big amount of investment goes down the drain. which in long term harms.

    studying critical history on china always signaled wasteful expenditure by chinese emperors on various occasions which led to fall of china.
     
  13. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    100-200% debt, maybe even 0% growth now...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
  14. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Welcome to the deserted German city outside of Shanghai

    [​IMG]

    This may look like your average German suburb on a quiet day, but it's actually a planned community 30 kilometers outside of Shanghai. This is Anting German Town, a one-square-kilometer residential development founded in 2001 and built specifically to resemble a little slice of Deutschland. There's only one problem for this quirky Teutonic oasis —nobody wants to live there.

    Anting was conceived by the architectural firm of Albert Speer & Partner (yes, the son of that Albert Speer). Despite low housing costs, this community's isolation dissuades tenants from moving there. Indeed, this is the same problem that plagues places like Ordos City and the sprawling and empty New South China Mall.

    In the case of Anting German Town, it is surrounded by industrial parks — a single road links it to nearby city of Anting. This model city is further hobbled by awful infrastructure (for example, the post office is finished but unopened), pollution, unfinished apartment buildings left to rot, and crappy feng shui.

    Reports Der Spiegel:
    Officials estimate that only one in five apartments are occupied in Anting German Town. To make matters even more authentically weird, the community's graffiti was planned to resemble actual German street art and the nearby Volkswagen plant guarantees that plenty of VWs tool through city center. You can see more photos of this curious near-ghost town over at Der Spiegel.
     
  15. Vladimir79

    Vladimir79 Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    Maybe Han just don't like German architecture.
     

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