China’s rapid pace of urbanization means that sometimes supply far exceeds present demand. Nowhere is this more noticeable than in the deserted “ghost cities” scattered throughout the country.
From Western-themed getaway cities to sprawling dystopian mega-cities, Chinese “ghost cities” have become a well-known phenomena (though some argue the concept is nothing more than a myth). What is less well-known, however, has been how to map and accurately distinguish genuine “ghost cities” from “tourism cities,” whose populations fluctuate over the course of time.
Fortunately, the always innovative Baidu’s Big Data Lab has recently calculated out a new map that documents more than 50 of China’s largest ghost and tourist cities. By tracking data from Baidu’s more than 700 million domestic Chinese users for more than 6 months between 2014 and 2015, and by then correlating that data with a data set of known residential areas followed up with calculations regarding urban density, Baidu has cranked out an algorithm that allows it to reliably differentiate “ghost cities” from “tourism cities.”
Check it out and plan where to buy your next apartment.
Many argue that these cities represent a major disconnect between supply and demand. Other’s argue that it is simply a matter of time before people begin moving in.
Regardless of which is true, finding a nice flat in the nearest English town has never been easier.
By Stanley Yu