or massive scale social engineering?
China's Ghost Cities and Malls
Empty Cities: China's phony construction boom
In the world's most populated country there are dozens of empty cities
and more are being built every year. Is China's 'build-mentality' good
urban forward planning or an economic bubble that's about to burst?
a near deserted replica of Paris complete with its own Eiffel Tower,
was meant to attract new residents and businesses. But the new
businesses are struggling to survive. "There aren't many people here;
our business is volume-based", says the owner of a takeaway lunch shop.
Meanwhile, in the Lanzhou New Area a range of 700 mountains has been
leveled and demolition of houses and forced relocation is underway to
make space for a new 130,000 hectare metropolis. According to Li Tie,
who heads the country's top economic planning agency, the federal
government "must stop any fanatical actions by local authorities who
blindly and hastily implement unreasonable urbanisation measures". But
urbanisation expert Tom Miller rejects the claim that China is on the
brink of a property crisis. "Imagine China as bubble wrap. Some of those
bubbles within it might burst. But in places like Shanghai there is
massive demand for housing."