ORDOS, INNER MONGOLIA, CHINA
Kang Bashi District
Ordos, Inner Mongolia, China
Rich with natural resources, Ordos was once one of the fastest growing districts within China. With economic growth came the ambitious plan to become a ‘first-tier’ city, Ordos officials launched an international effort to construct a new 1-million person city that was to be the crown jewel of the province. This plan was met with enormous challenges, however, as the city faced dwindling water supplies due to the continual expansion of the Ordos Desert. Ordos officials were faced with a local infrastructure planning problem that is not going away anytime soon.
Located on a 355-square-kilometre (137 sq mi) site 25 kilometers (16 mi) from the existing city of Dongsheng, the new city is situated next to three existing reservoirs on the site of two former villages. Numerous internationally reknowned architects were invited to design for Kangbashi in an effort to promote the new district, and the Ordos officials branded the new distrct as “The Dubai of the East”. Indeed, modelded after the shining towers of Dubai, Kangbashi was poised to become an economic center. However, as natural resources in the area began to deplete, many of the projects were abandoned due to lack of funding. Combining that with a (suspected) problem of corrutption, many parts of the project was left half finished.
As of 2010, the current city (which covers around 35 square kilometers or 14 sq miles) has the capacity to host at least 300,000 people. The estimated investment of the project is around 1.1 trillion Yuan ($161 billion). While the Ordos government claims the district will be populated eventually, many of the buildings within the district still lacks water and electricity supply lines, rendering most of the units uninhabitable. In a recent move, the Ordos government has rezoned Kangbashi District as a completely different city in order to create the image that Ordos City is fully occupied.
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