Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Will They Come?

China is building progressive billion-dollar ghost cities.

It's true.

The People's Republic is subsidizing middle-of-nowhere construction of metropolises, with high-rise housing, schools, musuems, even mosoleums.

The goal is twofold: thin out the crowded established cities, and bring farmers to factories to produce more exports.

Incredibly, there are 6-20 of these population-primed places--including Ordos, in inner Mongolia--that stand ready to receive their 1 million citizens. And, in standard China fashion, there's no hurry. Real estate investors recovered the first year what they needed to break even on costs. If they take the next 10 to profit, that's perfectly reasonable.

And it will take a long time for the profits to start coming. Because no one is moving in. Streets, buses, parks, restaurants: everywhere is empty. That's the first problem. The second is mantenannce. Landscaping, building, and road upkeep are lagging. But China will wait, as it's good at doing, for the cities to boom, certain they will, while we in the West think this is pretty creepy.


Shannon O'Donnell said...

Wow. I had no idea they were doing that. I can't decide if it's smart or just plain twisted. :-)

Kjersten said...

I read about that! Totally creepy.