We keep hearing about pre-fabricated cities designed for millions of people popping up all over China. With the hundreds of millions of people arriving into cities from the countryside, this might be a simple solution to an overcrowding problem. Besides the clear impression that China hasn’t learned much from New Urbanism, there’s also the problem of these planned cities failing. China is trying to plan these things en masse, and not letting them grow organically. Perhaps twenty years down the line they will be a useful, though crumbling, investment. Until then, there will be the few residents wandering like post-apocalyptic zombies through a landscape of empty skyscrapers and the shells of extravagant museums.
Less reported on is the more impressive organic growth. See that picture above? That’s an apartment for farmers in the countryside. Not only is it pretty cool looking, but it’s almost as big as the Empire State Building. But there’s a lot of people living in the countryside, so it shouldn’t be too big of a surprise. I’m not sure if this is urban sprawl on a massive scale, or taking an already dense area and building up instead of small. I just want to this all looks like in twenty years.