The World’s Largest Abandoned City – Video

Ordos

Ordos is the world’s largest abandoned city. The development of the city of Ordos is a unique tale. Ordos is a city designed from scratch and built within 10 years. This city came to fruition after private mining companies were given the rights to dig into deposits in the late 90’s and 2000’s. This generated a lot of tax revenue making Ordos the 2nd highest income per capita city in China. Ordos is a city located in Inner Mongolia that has been constantly been burdened with water shortage issues. Instead of trying to revamp the current infrastructure the Chinese government decided to rebuild the city from scratch which is called “New Ordos” just 16 miles or 25 km kilometers away from the existing city now called “Old Ordos”. The people of Old Ordos refer to New Ordos as the Kangbashi district of Ordos, these new and old labels are basically not supported by anyone locally. Two villages built around the Wulan Mulan River were demolished and construction started in 2005. 161 billion dollars in infrastructure was invested to build the Kangbashi District over the first 5 years. Regardless if anyone lives in this new city, this is a major plus to the government of China as it increases China’s GDP. The government gave kickbacks to developers who helped boost GDP so building anything anywhere is promoted. The old city of Ordos or Dongsheng is home to over ½ a million people, it was expected that many of them would move to the new city as it became

The people of Old Ordos refer to New Ordos as the Kangbashi district of Ordos, these new and old labels are basically not supported by anyone locally. Two villages built around the Wulan Mulan River were demolished and construction started in 2005. 161 billion dollars in infrastructure was invested to build the Kangbashi District over the first 5 years. Regardless if anyone lives in this new city, this is a major plus to the government of China as it increases China’s GDP. The government gave kickbacks to developers who helped boost GDP so building anything anywhere is promoted. The old city of Ordos or Dongsheng is home to over ½ a million people, it was expected that many of them would move to the new city as it became complete.

As explained by many locals, a working couple only makes $800 a month combined of which ⅓ is taken for rent. The new apartments in New Ordos sell for 70 – 100 thousand dollars making it virtually impossible for locals to live there. Sales were slow at first but eventually, investors snapped up many of the units in the new city. This has left New Ordos with a ton of infrastructure and no residents. The city was originally designed to hold 1 million people but was scaled down during construction to 500,000 then to 300,000 after coal prices crashed. The city features a 5 story shopping mall, impressive monuments and statues, art and city museum, the Ordos Dongsheng Stadium that seats 35,000 people, opera house, a brand new airport and a modernly designed mosque. The city streets are lined with skyscraper after skyscraper that is almost completely empty.

A toy store is one of the only stores in the massive 5 story mall, the man who runs the store says he sells something every few days and if the government doesn’t step in soon to fix it, he may have to move back to Dongsheng. It is estimated only 2 % of the buildings were ever filled the rest remain abandoned. Outside the mall, an elaborate water show is put on every night with only a few people found to be watching it. A water show this size in a normal city would draw thousands of viewers daily. The city has everything it needs to be a great thriving new city like extra wide roads with bike lanes like what is found in Taipei, modern amenities, and infrastructure but simply no people. The initial wave of 30,000 people that moved to New Ordos all lived in a 4 to 5 block radius just north of the central park. A few years later that grew to 60,000 and now 12 years after the start of construction there are around 150,000 residents in a city that were originally designed for 1 million.

The city has been doing many things to attract people to live there like moving the best schools from Dongsheng to Kangbashi. While some areas of Kangbashi aren’t a ghost town at all today, many still are. One abandoned project is the Ordos 100 Project, which is a project that was to have 100 different extreme luxury villas designed. Instead of the government doing it themselves they invited 100 different architects from around the world to each design luxury villas to be placed on the map. Land sections were given out with the utmost creative freedom except the design was not to look like traditional Mongolian designs such as Yurts. Each architect designed their villa and construction started. Within the Ordos 100 Project site, multiple halves finished villas can be found. While many lay half finished some have progress going forward.

Music: Melopsych-Between Mechanics n Soul.

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