AN ABANDONED THEATER AND A CULTURAL CENTER UNDER CONSTRUCTION IN ONE OF NINGXIA’S “THEME CITIES”
PUDONG, THE GOLD STANDARD
Every city in China wants to be Pudong, the original “new zone.” Pudong got under way in 1992, and it had the full force of the central government behind it. New zones today are not so luck.
KANGBASHI: THE GREAT GRANDDADDY OF CHINA’S NEW CITIES
These villas, built in the New City of Kangbashi in Ordos County, Inner Mongolia, were designed to be exclusive dwellings for wealthy families who would send their children to the “model school” envisioned to nestle beside the man-made lake in this Gobi Desert town. The lake was built and yachts sold to float on it. No word on whether the school ever opened.
The small city of Qujing, Yunnan has tried to create a new city in its Qilin District, but the district really hasn’t taken off. The city can’t get anyone to move there.
The Hulunbuir prefecture in Inner Mongolia is a poor area, with urban developments abutting grassland that supports subsistence animal husbandry. The poverty of the local population makes the overbuilding of district center Hailar’s New City area even sadder. It goes without saying that there are no cultural programs to fill the opera house, much less people to buy the tickets.