Friday, January 15, 2010

China's Empty City

Via commenter Gunter, here is the incredible Al-Jazeera report on China's empty city.


Datamunger said...

Thames Town, Shanghai is another example. Smaller, though more surreal.

Paul Merton also did an episode on it. The people he interviewed said the value of a new house in falls substantially once it has been lived in.

gu said...


Here is an article about the empty mall:

The video is at pbs:

(For some reason I cannot view it from Germany, but I have seen it on another site. A small excerpt can be found at Youtube: )

the term 'misallocation' is indeed a tough one, but becomes evident from the examples, that indeed it makes sense.

The difficulty is ofcourse, to formalize it.
Is buying Your loved one a 3carat diamond ring a 'misallocation'?
Was building the cheops-pyramid a misallocation by the Egypts?

One could escape the question by stating that it all depends on
worldview and value-system.

But this is NOT the case in (energy-)constrained systems.

Cornucopians try to escape the dilemma by believing in an unconstrained world.
'Anything goes', 'technology will save us', etc.

'Misallocation' then has meaning on a global scale, and can be treated in the
way as was done in 'Limits to Growth'.

A typical battleground is e.g. the building of additional runways in airports as in London Heathrow, Frankfurt airport, Munich airports.

It is a misallocation for sure (for me),
BUT one has to convince people on a deeper level, why that is so, i.e.
going back to an undisputed level, like physics.

How difficult this can be, we all can see in the 'climate change' debate,
which should at max only be a debate about the extent, not whether it
happens or not.

So anecdotal evidence in combination with 'hard' facts
seems to be a good vehicle to implant in wobbly minds sort of a virus:
'Maybe I'm an idiot and should do something about it'

Best regards