Thames Town: A Quaint Corner of Shanghai
This place is well documented, but fits into my Counterfeit Paradises series as Shanghai remains one of the fastest growing cities on the planet. In order to keep up with demand, the municipal government must supply housing for up to 400,000 new residents every year. In an effort to provide a bit of flash and diversity to the monotony of Chinese urban sprawl, developers broke ground on Songjiang New City which included nine satellite villages utilizing design elements from various European countries. Thames Town, modeled after quaint English hamlets, was the centerpiece and eventually the largest debacle after failing to attract permanent residents. The English-themed restaurants and stores remain shuttered while the streets only see the passing of young couples posing for wedding photographs. Far from the hustle and bustle of downtown Shanghai, the Thames Town Church seems poised to continue without a congregation for the foreseeable future.