China's Ghost Cities

Discussion in 'Everything Else' started by cmdrmonkey, May 12, 2016.

  1. #1 cmdrmonkey, May 12, 2016
    Last edited: May 13, 2016
    I thought this was really fascinating. There are absolutely massive, modern cities in China built for millions of people that just sit vacant. They were built in the middle of nowhere in places with few job prospects. Development was mainly about officials artificially boosting GDP with no regard for demand. In other words, they were just building for the sake of building to keep the economy going. Few Chinese people can actually afford to live in these cities.

    They look like something out of a post apocalyptic movie. A huge, modern city with no one in it just feels so wrong. I wonder if people will eventually move into them, and if so what kind of shape they will be in after sitting abandoned for many years. Knowing China, they were probably built like crap to begin with.

    If China weren't so xenophobic, these empty, ready to go cities would be an instant solution to any refugee crisis.

    What also seems extremely weird to me is that these places are as big or bigger than the world's largest cities, yet their existence is almost completely unknown in the western world. Some of them are actually built like cheap looking replicas of real cities in the west.
  2. Or maybe even a city for their unwanted female babies.
  3. #3 cmdrmonkey, May 12, 2016
    Last edited: May 13, 2016
    That's the thing, with their strict population control, and most Chinese people being dirt poor, who are they expecting to live in these cities? It's like these places were built for a gigantic upper class of tens or hundreds of millions of people that doesn't exist and might never exist. China does have some very rich people of course, but they mostly either live in the big developed cities or preferably not in China at all. A lot of them live in Canada, which is why Canadian real estate prices are so high.
  4. This thread caused our site to attract the attention of Baidu. If we weren't censored in China before this, we probably are now.
  5. The amount of maintenance required to keep all those empty building in order is probably staggering. But to tell the truth I'd love to see the place. It'd be bizarre.
  6. #6 cmdrmonkey, May 12, 2016
    Last edited: May 12, 2016
    These pictures look like something out of Blade Runner: gigantic, futuristic, but mostly empty cities.

    Edit: Maybe there's something more sinister going on here. Could these cities be backup cities as part of some post WW3 survival strategy if China's main cities get nuked? That would be evil but ingenious if the case. And I'm guessing these cities are mostly or entirely paid for by US debt to boot.

  7. Very cool. I wonder if these are too far away from the popular metros. If you could ride into Beijing or a major employment center in 1 hr, I don't see why people wouldn't want to live there. We'll have to see how it plays out. What seems silly now may wind up looking ingenious later.
  8. It's pretty messed up. China tries to force people into these cities in an attempt to modernize the country. My understanding is that most of the people want to stick with their families and the life that they know.
  9. @supersonic

    True. Maybe the Chinese are just thinking long term in a way our puny western brains can't comprehend. Maybe in a decade these will all be bustling urban centers filled with millions of people. I'm just struggling to envision that happening when the millions of poor rural folk they want to relocate could never afford to live in these places.
  10. I mean, it could be cultural. I remember reading years (decade) ago how Saudi Arabia and UAE design, engineer, and build an entire cities. Then they create demand and incentives to get people to move there. So, it's may not a Chinese thing as much as a non-Western or non-capitalist thing.

    If you think about it, our build on demand culture leaves the major metros looking like a dump. Industrial, residential, commercial all bleed together as there is no game plan. It's all built upon necessity and availability at a given time.

    In comparison, creating a real-life sim city is kinda awesome.
  11. China built this stuff purely for the economic expansion benefits, not for anyone to live in. A big reason for their fast growth in the past couple of decades was HUGE infrastructure spending...including a lot of things they didn't actually need (and knew they didn't need). Compare that to the U.S., where the country desperately needs infrastructure upgrades and Congress can't seem to decide if it's economically beneficial or not.