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China building replica of Detroit

Econofog

Like Economist, but heavier


China building replica of Detroit


Country’s burgeoning hipster class seeking homes with ‘urban cool’

Replicas of Paris and Stratford-upon-Avon now dismissed as too Japanese


Des Res

Guangdong, Friday 31st Jan:

It’s bitterly cold outside but that hasn’t deterred group of excited local citizens and press from joining Party officials to watch local mayor Jimmy Ling break ground on China’s latest and most ambitious construction project: a full-size replica of the US Rust Belt Capital Detroit

A brain-child of Mr Ling, the new city is being built by local construction giant ‘Mighty Destiny Corp’ as a self-contained non-economic centre intended to appeal to China’s rapidly growing class of young urban professionals. Mighty Destiny, which coincidentally is owned by Ling’s wife Mae, has made its reputation building state-funded city-sized ‘dormitory’ towns for China’s burgeoning mega-cities

According to the company’s research China’s young hipsters are turning their backs on traditional developments. Not for them the tidy replicas of quaint western towns such as Paris or Stratford-upon-Avon, which they dismiss as being ‘too Japanese’. They prefer the urban cool of grimy run-down rust-belt cities, such as Detroit, with all their associations with pop music, contemporary arts and the intangible romance of greatness lost

The $75 billion development might also be timely. China’s development has in many ways echoed that of early 20th century America, but at an even more breakneck pace. Having eclipsed the manufacturing nations of old, it seems inevitable that China’s eventual bust will be bigger, cheaper and deeper than anything it’s Old World rivals could ever manage, even in their heyday

And on the bright side, fostering their own run down chic of 21st century urban decay should do wonders for Chinese pop music!

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