TWO NEWLY–BUILT GHOST TOWNS

by Slava Tsukerman

The city Hangzhou (China), located not far from Shanghai, is popular among Chinese and foreign tourists. In Tianducheng, one of the suburbs of the city there is a small replica of Paris.

The idea to create a copy of French capital in China originated in 2007, when the country experienced a building boom. Chinese authorities hoped that this large-scale project could attract foreign investors and have a positive impact on GDP growth in the country.

The main attraction of the city is the 108 -meter-high Eiffel Tower.

Many residents of neighboring towns have already chosen a Chinese copy of Paris for honeymoons because the cost of the travel to the fake Europe is incomparably less then the cost of travel to the real one.

However the streets and shopping areas of the town are mostly empty today, since the housing is very expensive in Tianducheng.

The town can accommodate 100,000. Only 20,000 live there now. Meanwhile, the number of Chinese tourists to travel to France increased by 23% from 2011 to 2012.

Whatever the reason for its lack of occupants, Tianducheng is hardly the only newly-built city to turn into a ghost town. There are plenty of other fake European cities around China. It’s impossible to predict the fate of these eerie cities. There are 64 million empty new buildings in China now.

China is not the only country that is involved in the process of building modern ghost towns.

One of the most interesting examples of such developments is the district Vozdvizhenka, located in the Ukraine capital Kiev. It’s often called “a millionaires’ ghost town”.

Here is the Guardian’s article about the district. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/16/kiev-luxury-ghost-town-vozdvyzhenka

Vozdvizhenka is a district in the very centre of Kiev, famous for it’s mystical atmosphere; rich with historical sites and legends. The reconstruction of the area was for years a controversial topic, triggering a lot of hot discussions.


Vozdvizhenka prior to reconstruction.

There was $138 million invested in the construction of the new elite Vozdvizhenka. But after the economic crisis in 2008-2009, the builders had serious problems with selling and renting out the apartments, despite prices having been reduced by almost half.

Now the area is popular for strolling and photo shoots, but there’s almost no one living there because even reduced prices are still too high.

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Updated: November 29, 2013 — 1:47 pm
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