Kangbashi New Area, part of Ordos City in the Chinese Inner Mongolia, was built in 2004 to house 300,000 people. It was part of an ambitious plan to create a glitzy, state-of-the-art commercial and residential zone that would house affluent citizens. 17 billion yuan were spent to transform the area into a postmodern metropolis with spaceship-like government towers, Dubai-style skyscrapers, museums, libraries, theaters, sculpture squares and luxury bungalows.
However, only about 2% of the buildings were filled. High home prices were blamed for keeping prospective buyers away. Today about 20,000-30,000 people live in the city which has population density of 469 people per square kilometer, which is less than 5% of the average for Chinese small cities. As the city remained virtually empty, prices fell from $1,100 per square foot in 2006 to $470 a square foot in December 2011 but that wasn’t enough to attract new buyers. Today, most of residents of the district are government employees who bought their houses with a discount of 50% or more. The remaining houses were bought by coal tycoons who then chose to live elsewhere