The Ordos Real Estate Bubble: An Empty Chinese Metropolis
The arid landscape around Ordos was never a forgiving place. Its remoteness and lack of ground water always kept growth in check. Now the Inner Mongolian mining center produces a third of China’s coal and the municipal government decided to use the extra revenues to literally build an entire new city. Located 25 kilometers west of the old town, the Kangbashi/康巴什 new district sports a museum, opera house, library, cultural center, sculpture parks, malls and endless rows of megablock housing. Designed to accomodate a population upwards to a million people, only 30,000 have decided to make the move into the newfangled developments. For now the strange new city that popped out of the sands remains largely deserted. Only a handful of locals walk amidst the abstract shapes and glass-covered malls of Kangbashi. It is one of many locations in China that point to a real estate bubble just waiting to pop.