Ghost Cities of China: The Story of Cities without People in the World's Most Populated Country (Asian Arguments)

Ghost Cities of China: The Story of Cities without People in the World's Most Populated Country (Asian Arguments)

Wade Shepard

Language: English

Pages: 192

ISBN: 178360218X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Over the next couple of decades, it is estimated that 250 million Chinese citizens will move from rural areas into cities, pushing the country’s urban population over one billion. China has built hundreds of new cities and urban districts over the past thirty years, and hundreds more are set to be built by 2030 as the central government kicks its urbanization initiative into overdrive. As China redraws its map with new cities, it isn't just creating new urban areas, but also engineering a new culture and way of life. Yet, many of these new cities, such as the infamous Kangbashi and Yujiapu, stand nearly empty, construction having ground to a halt due to the loss of investors and colossal debt.

In Ghost Cities of China, Wade Shepard examines this phenomenon up close. He posits that the shedding of traditional social structures in the country is at an advanced stage, and a rootless, consumption-centric globalized culture is rapidly taking its place. Incorporating interviews and on-the-ground investigation, Ghost Cities of China examines China’s under-populated modern cities and the country’s overly ambitious building program.

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investment: filling aquatic areas with earth can produce a hundredfold return on investment (Li 2012). The value of construction land in China should not be underestimated. The creating, selling and developing of land is what keeps the country’s domestic economy rolling. The story of China’s future will be told in what these places become after the land is prepared. THREE Of new cities and ghost cities What is a ghost city? Throughout history ghost towns have started out as boom towns, and

bankrupt. With many of the houses conspicuously dark at night, the city’s reputation as one of China’s largest ghost cities grew. ‘This severe drop, amid declining prices around China, has convinced both the people and developers that Kangbashi is a lost cause’, Business Insider claimed in 2011. Nevertheless the people who live there haven’t given up yet. I entered the city and saw the infamous Kangbashi landmarks. I gazed upon the museum that looks like a giant golden jellybean, the elaborate

civilization – is really like. For two years I watched places become. While my ghost city research was ultimately for professional purposes, I must admit here that a good deal of the allure was personal. ONE The new map of China It is projected that by 2030 one in eight people on earth will live in a Chinese city (Miller 2012). Preparation for this deluge is reshaping the country. Hundreds of new districts, cities, towns and neighbourhoods are being constructed as hundreds of millions of

km/hr. The patchwork of urbanization here still had many pieces missing, but the procession of upside-down L-shaped cranes along the horizon promised that this would not be the case for long. The cities between Shanghai and Nanjing are being connected together through their individual expansion as well as the growth of new districts, cities, towns and housing developments between them. Soon they will be contiguous. The train didn’t have a chance to attain full speed between cities, which to all

and relocations which ensue; how new cities are built and the strategies that are used to populate them; how the rural poor are flooding into urban areas and how policies have been created to bring cities to the countryside; how China is financing its urbanization movement and the pitfalls within its fiscal system that make excessive overdevelopment an inevitability; how there is a master plan in place that will soon blanket the country in a web of megacity clusters; and why, in the world’s most

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