Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ordos Two Years Later

In late 2009, a number of western media outlets ran reports on the "ghost town" that is Ordos, Inner Mongolia. I put up a blog post about the city at that time. Ordos, a city flush with natural resources and wealth, is a fascinating case study of China's method of development.

Melissa K. Chan from Al Jazeera just visited Ordos this week and has a short video clip on what it's like there now, two years later:

I've written a lot about this sort of growth in the past. Building cities with the hope that one day residents will move is, undoubtedly, a risky move.

When I was in Xi'an this summer, I saw row after row after row of apartment blocks that were finished with only a couple lights on in the entire building at night. While Ordos is the poster child for ghost cities, it's not the only place in China where this is going on.

At this point, I still can't venture a guess as to whether this is all going to work out. My gut tells me that development like what's going on in Ordos is ludicrous. But China has proven me wrong many times before and I wouldn't be shocked, in five years, to see this experiment working out.


Ramesh said...

Indeed. What often seems to be quite absurd in China turns out to be a stroke of far sightedness. And what seems obvious proves to be a dud. Isn't that why its such a fascinating country for those of us not from that culture. Who knows about Ordus ??

Lee-Anne said...

New to your blog Mark... but your posts are very interesting.

AustinGuidry said...

wow - that's crazy! It might've been kind of nice to visit a quiet city like that...during my time in China, the only towns I visited that were fairly quiet were Tianshui and Huan Xian, both in Gansu Province. They were both wonderful places far away from the big cities.

But that place might be taking it too far. I was watching a CCTV Broadcast about the disproportionate funding between bigger cities and developing cities, but I never heard about building cities without

Robins said...

Ordos ghost city's developer committed suicide and his partner absconded. If the units were sold, why would he take his own life and his partner run away? Doesn't make sense here.