If we needed any further confirmation that China is the champion builder of sprawl in this decade (sorry America, you don’t even come close against things like Dubai Marina), this reporter traveled to an entire city built by developers in Inner Mongolia, that, it turns out, no one wants to move to because there is no economy there, as compared to the traditional city down the road.
The economic dimension problem of sprawl building is shown here as evidently as it can be shown.
Thames Town in Songjiang New City, Shanghai.
While creating a semblance of traditional European urbanism, Thames Town is only one enormous block of an entire new city of enormous developments, most in the Chinese style of giant aligned slabs. Far from creating a “new” urbanism, this development needs the enormous scale of modern Chinese urbanism to exist.
Down the canal from Thames Town’s lake, traditional Chinese organic urbanism persists, waiting to be rediscovered and adapted to the modern age and the enormous scale it requires.
This great CBS News video report of the construction of Thames Town showed up in the WordPress automagically related links. (Thank you WordPress!) It shows the quality of the construction contrasted with the disappointment the Chinese feel about the social life of these environments. Sprawl alienation is truly a universal phenomenon.