Tianducheng: The Heavenly Paris of China
As new cities continue to spring up across China almost overnight, real estate developers are taking architecture and urban design in wildly different directions to tap into the lucrative luxury housing market. Tianducheng/天都城 was one of those hopelessly trying to set a bold new precedent for modern and cultured living with it’s fake Eiffel Tower overlooking Parisian townhouses. The knockoff of the 13th arrondissement, however, remains sparsely populated and only draws well-heeled clientele to its adjacent resort and villas modeled after Fontainebleau Palace. For now, many of the apartments are occupied by groups of migrant laborers working on surrounding megablocks, while other locals have gone so far as to appropriate the green space surrounding the Eiffel Tower for private ad hoc farming plots. Otherwise Tianducheng along with the attached French-themed village park is mainly used as a backdrop for wedding photography companies hoping to give young Chinese couples a taste of The City of Light while balancing their desire for traditional nuptial observances.