January 19, 2010

Video: Ordos - China's Empty City

Despite the buzz over Ordos within the architectural community I have many reservations about its ultimate success. This video uses the city of Ordos as an example to discusses one of the biggest issues in China's current economic development: developers building for the sake of building rather than for actual needs. Yes, construction might help meet economic growth projections now, but it will also limit the need for infrastructure development later. It also is creating a giant real estate bubble that is likely to burst in the coming years, much like the collapse of the real estate economy in the United States. Although the highly publicized houses, designed by some of the world's top architects, is only a small suburb of the larger city, I can still foresee it becoming a ghost town, more of an exhibition of architectural ideas than a real thriving community. After all, who is going to be able to afford or want to live in an empty town of overly luxurious mansions? I believe this whole idea really reflects on the question what is sustainability. It isn't always an environmental issue but rather a mindset of living within our means.

For more information on the Ordos 100 project check out this site: www.ordos100.com

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