Rise of the Chinese Ghost Town


Holly Krambeck

Publication date: 

Sunday, 12 September 2010


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External to ACUI

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In Chenggong, there are more than a hundred-thousand new apartments with no occupants, lush tree-lined streets with no cars, enormous office buildings with no workers, and billboards advertising cold medicine and real estate services – with no one to see them. As my colleagues and I wandered, on–foot, down the center of Chenggong’s empty 8-lane boulevards and dedicated bus lanes, never seeing a single person, we marveled about the fiscal and political conditions that would have to exist to create something like this. In February this year, Geoff Dyer wrote an article for the Financial Times, “China: No One Home”, in which he chronicled the eerie emptiness of this new town development near the city of Kunming, in southwestern China.