Friday, September 23, 2011

Adventures in Chinese Urbanism: Canceling the Empty Cities

In a startling twist to rapid urbanization in China, one of the cities west of Shanghai has been canceled. See this story from the Atlantic for a few details:
China 'Cancels' an Entire City

The city had four million people, so this seems like a big deal. That's like canceling Manhattan and Brooklyn! As the story describes, this move was made for growth considerations. Considering the reliance on land development for public revenues on which cities rely (property taxes are rare), I wouldn't be surprised if these types of consolidations happen with greater frequency in the future. Canceling a city may seem extreme, but urban growth in the US over the past century was often conducted this way, though we generally called it annexation.

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