Why Chinese are building so many ghost towns?

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Chinese ghost town

In China, there are now countless of ghost towns, entire neighborhoods dotted with modern and often well-decorated buildings, but it seems that they are simply abandoned to their sad fate. But why does this happen?

There are several reasons why the Chinese build new cities. The first consideration is that until a few years ago, virtually all buildings in China were built in the same way. The buildings did not meet the minimum safety requirements; they weren’t designed to address the needs of a modern society; they were dirty, difficult to control, and not least they were ugly buildings.

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dirty white tiles building in China
White tiles building in China

In a word, with the economic boom, it became clear that China could no longer be represented by these buildings covered with dirty white tiles. The emerging Chinese middle class could no longer live under certain conditions.

Here it was necessary to build a new China.

This plan that runs parallel to the Chinese project to empty rural areas to thicken the population in large urban centers (in China today there are more than 100 cities with more than 1 million inhabitants, and not for the population growth, which in fact is aging abruptly, but simply because millions of migrant workers left the countryside) naturally inflamed the real estate market, which has greatly contributed to the growth of the Chinese GDP.

Why Chinese are building so many ghost towns

Given that Chinese build these new districts not for fun but because they are simply following their five-year plans of urban development involving the movement of oceanic masses of people from countryside to city, each so, perhaps more frequently than expected, some of these projects will fail, leaving only abandoned buildings with them, huge holes in local budgets, and often leaving countless citizens who had invested their savings or turned on mortgages to buy these glittering apartments.

Photo & text – Matteo Damiani

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