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Coma City

Definition of a new ghost town phenomenon

昏迷之城一种新的“鬼城”现象

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“

A Coma city shocks the world, not on account of something

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it has but because of something it has not yet: people.

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摘要

ABSTRACT

我在最初并不认为发展一个已经荒废了的地方是多大的挑战。我在撒哈拉沙漠中部的 努瓦克肖特生活了十八年。幸运的是,我生活在一个和我一同成长的城市中。举个例 子来更好地说明这个问题,当我三岁时这座城市开了第一个中等规模的超市,而当我 在十七岁时,全球最大的连锁集团之一的“家乐福”也在这里开了第一家店。虽然努 瓦克肖特的发展较慢,但它的发展是可以让我们显而易见地感受到的。正是这样的发 展趋势让我认识到城市化只是一个耐心和信心的问题。

2013年我第一次读到了一篇以一种很戏剧化的口吻描写非洲空城现象的文章。这篇 文章描写了一座“鬼城”,拥有着成千上万的新公寓,配备有一整套完善的供水系 统、燃气系统、电力系统、公共设施和交通系统,然而这座城市里的公寓却只有不足 12%的使用率。受这篇文章的影响,我意识到尽管这代表了非洲是在城市化,尽管从 表面来看这座城市是存在的,可事实上它已经被媒体、建筑师和城市规划师看做是一 座已经死了的城市。在这之后,我了解了世界上还有很多其他的类似的“鬼城”。 市”、“现代遗址”或“政绩工程”。这种几乎被荒废了的城市的发展,与我对城市 发展的耐心和信心形成鲜明的对比,我也对此产生了疑问。我开始从更深更广的方面 4

了解这个问题,需求这个问题的答案。

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1 Hulshof, Michiel, “Chinese Boxes, Developers and construction companies from the People’s Republic are building Africa’s mass-housing stock” in Mark N49, April-May 2014, p142-p147.

2 Caemmerer, Kai, « Unborn Cities » in Photography Series of Ianzhou festival, China, October, 2015.

I

was once a girl who thought that urbanizing a desert was not such a bold proposal.

I spent eighteen years in Nouakchott city located in the middle of the Sahara. Luckily enough, I grew up in a city that develop at the same rate I did. To illustrate this nicely: the first medium-sized supermarket store opened up when I was three years old and one of the largest global retail group Carrefour set up its first shop when I was 17. Eventhough, Nouakchott city growth was gradual, it was noticeable even at my humble human scale. This trend is what led me to think that urbanization was only a

3 Vysokovskii, Aleksandr, Stillborn environments: The new Soviet town of the 1960s and urban life in Russia today, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 1996.

4 Schulz-Dornburg Julia, Modern Ruins, a Topography of Profit, Madrid 2012.

question of patience and confidence. 2013 was the first time I read an article describing in a rather dramatic tone this new ghost town phenomenon in Africa1. The article displayed pictures of thousands of brand new apartments blocks with a complete set of water systems, gas, electricity, public facilities and urban connections but the apartments had less than 12 percent

5 Redvers, Louise, « Angola’s Chinesebuilt ghost town » in BBC News, Kilamba, July 3rd, 2012.

occupancy. Reflecting on this article, I became aware that despite Africa’s growing urbanization needs and although this city was literally just born, it was already considered dead by the Media, Architects and Urban planners in general. Later on, I learned of many other similar ghost cities all over the world. I also came across many different terms always referring to a similar phenomenon. While some were talking about Unborn cities2 , others used the term Stillborn Environments3 , Modern Ruins 4 or Vanity projects5 . My inquisitive mind was fascinated by this stark contrast between the simple fundamentals of patience and confidence I had growing up and what I was reading. I started to seek a better understanding of this subject by studying it in more depth and breadth.

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我研究的一个主要案例是中国内蒙古的鄂尔多斯市。我读过这篇文章的三年后,在我 第一次来到中国的几个月后我前往鄂尔多斯去看看这座“鬼城”,并收集一些资料。 这趟旅程让我有很多感触,在这座城市中闻不到路人的香水味,闻不到污水的臭味, 也没有食物诱人的香味。我闻不到任何气息,只能感觉到一片荒凉。我也有所疑惑在 这些空旷的街道上我到底能发现些什么。忽然之间有一辆运送家具的摩托车出现在视 线中,才让我感受到了一丝生命的气息。当这个摩托车驶过,我问自己,这些人也许 是帮助一些新住民在鄂尔多斯定居的。但这种想法很快被打断了,因为我几乎能听到 交通灯闪烁的声音。在这个空无一人的城市很难感受到时间和空间的概念。

我两次到鄂尔多斯,我知道这座城市并不是完全的死城,只是没有丧失了活力。这里 有着道路系统、公共空间、公共设施、住宅、一片商业街区和对外联系的道路。这座 城市并没有被遗弃,因为媒体、博客和政府还在关注它的发展。这座城市并没有完全 死掉,但却也只是在人为的帮助下活着。管理者仍然对其有所投入,政府还在保证最 基本的财政投入,比如保持绿地系统和交通信号系统的正常运行。这座城市中仅有的 居民使这里有一些少量的交通运转,这座城市几乎是建在一块空地上,只有少量的生 活核心,像超市这类的设施。

由于一些疾病或伤害引起的一种长期的持续的无意识的状态被称为昏迷状态。这个 词语可以用来很形象地描述这类城市,我们可以成其为“昏迷城市”。就像沉睡的风 景,他们也正等待着苏醒。到底是快乐的结局还是无尽的沉睡?本文将试图研究怎样 可以重新唤起“昏迷城市”的信心。

我们常用的“鬼城”一词并没有明确的定义。

它通常用来形容在一座城市的发展过程中由于人口的外流使城市逐渐空置。本文将 从一些不同的角度和最近的现象入手进行分析:新城的空置是因为没有吸引足够的人 口。“昏迷城市”可以用来形容现在全球越来越多的类似城市,在西班牙、中国、安 哥拉。因此本文首先对这三个国家的案例进行研究,通过访谈和现场调查的方式,分 析其政策和经济上的原因。对于不同的社会环境,所采用的改善措施也是不同的。 6 10


One of the largest case studies I came across is the city of Ordos in Chinas’ Inner Mongolia. Three years later, just a couple of months after landing in China for the first time, I packed up and made my way to Ordos to witness the phenomenon first hand. This new experience procured me some mixed feelings. No passerby perfume, no putrid odor from the sewage or even a tempting scent of food. Only this smell of nothingness that made me feel completely free. Each corner was hiding expectations, no predictions were possible. I kept wondering what I was going to discover walking down these empty streets. Suddenly, sign of life was showing up on the horizon only to realize that it was a motorbike driver transporting furniture. This feeling of freedom promptly disappeared and was replaced by curiosity. As the motorbike was driving away, I asked myself if these were movers helping new city comers to settle in Ordos. This brainstorming was slowly but surely interrupted as I listened more carefully to the discrete sound of traffic light switching color that I intuitively compared to the slow city heartbeat. I was feeling lost without any notion of time or space. The two trips to Ordos convinced me that these cities were not ghosted but really not fully alive either. They contain road systems bordered by urban furniture, public places, facilities, housing, a commercial district and a direct urban connection with the rest of the world. They are not abandoned either since media, blogger and politics regularly observed their evolution. They are not dead but rather kept artificially alive. They are perfused by the administration to which they belong. Indeed the administration keeps financing the basic element such as the maintenance of the green space and the traffic light system. A few inhabitants are present that create a sporadic transportation flows. The cities are structured in a set of empty cells, with only a very few nucleuses of life like local supermarkets. The rhythm of gust wind is felt like a smooth deaf respiration. A state of deep unconsciousness that lasts for a prolonged or indefinite period, caused especially by severe injury or illness is described as a coma state. This is basically how I could describe these cities and why it is chosen to coin this term of “Coma Cities”. Like the sleeping beauty, they are just waiting for their wake up. Happy ending or endless pending, this research thesis will try to investigate what can predict Coma Cities’ faith. the commonly used term “Ghost City” doesn’t have an official definition. It generally describes an urban development that drastically lost its design occupancy because of major population outflow. This research thesis is shading some light on a different and more recent phenomenon: new urban development that did not achieve its design occupancy because of unexpectedly limited population inflow for an extended period of time of several years. The new term of “Coma City” is coined to characterize this global pattern composed of shared features from different case studies in Spain, China and Angola. Going first through these three case studies, interviews and site observation together in parallel, this research thesis draws a comparative analysis of both, political and economic root causes.

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最后,我们应该定义一个名词来形容鬼城,这样更便于对其进行研究,也可以有相同 的判断标准。在这篇论文之后我制作了一个与鬼城有关的网站(www.comacities.com) 。首先在网站中有一个电子图书馆,整理了世界各地相关类型的研究和出版物;另 外,这个网站提供了一个开放的讨论平台,大家可以就怎样激活鬼城的活力分享各自 的观点或者提出相关的问题;同时这个网站也有一个展示的部分,可以呈现一些相 关的项目案例。第一个设计是我目前正在与鄂尔多斯康巴什新区的市民一起参与的项 目。主要目标是提出一种模块式的建设方式,是鬼城可以与其他的区域相联系,这种 可移动式的街道可以在社区中进行建设,这样可以确保地区的活力,也可以保持当地 的独特性,同时这也是一种激活鬼城的可持续发展的方式。

关键词:昏迷城市,鬼城,一生下来就死了的城市,投机性的城市化,激活,住房 率,Sesena Nueva, Kilamaba Kiaxi, 鄂尔多斯康巴什新区

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Each different social environment is then diagnosed separately and the respective remediation plans currently implemented are scrutinized. To conclude, the positive side of finally defining one name is that it will help to group and classify all the existing cases under the same criteria as well as help target and prevent the future ones. A website about Coma cities has just been created after the publication of this thesis (www.comacities.com). First, a virtual library will contribute to the regrouping of all types of publications that already exist on this subject from all over the world. Second, it will offer an open definition and a discussion platform to exchange ideas,opinions and questions on how to react and which alternatives exist to activate Coma cities. Thirdly, an exhibition part will present some example of project initiative. The first design proposed, is the one on which I am currently working on with the citizens of Ordos Kangbashi. The government is planning to build a street of bars and restaurants to animate the city. The goal is to propose a modular one, which can connect different district. This moveable street will be built by the community. Its goal is to ensure dynamism and preservation of its unique identity and culture, as well as proposing an example of a sustainable action for awakening Coma cities all around the world.

Key words : Coma City, Ghost Town, Stillborn City, Speculative Urbanisation, Vitalization, Occupancy, Sesena Nueva, Kilamaba Kiaxi, Ordos Kangbashi

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Acknowledgement S

oon after I began this research thesis I realized that a researcher rarely works alone.

There are often a number of people behind. At every step of the way there were friends who helped directly, or indirectly, to make this Coma City research thesis publication happen. I am first and foremost grateful that Anthony Poireadeau was the first author I interviewed and the one who actually communicated me this thrill for Coma Cities talking about Spanish case studies. Thank you Sebastian Ibold for the Ordos road trip, our long talk about Chinese urbanization processes and your continuous monitoring. Thank you Wade Shepard and Tom Miller for having considered my interview demand and given me your precious time during your respective Chinese business trip. Thank you as well to my older brother Mikael Makhoul Hajjar and all my other family members that listened patiently to my incessant monologues about Coma Cities. Many thanks go to my supervisor Yu Yifan, Ingrid Taillandier and Florian Hertweck for their perpetual encouragements. On a purely personal note, Last but not least, I would like to give many hugs and kisses to Gerard Espinet, my friend Ash and the entire Pantouflard group (who can identify themself ) for keeping me sane in Shanghai with love.

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Table of contents

Chapter 1- Frame of the thesis P. 17 1.1 - Introduction to the topic

P 21

1.2 - General background map expliciting the three case studies

P 24

Chapter 2- Coma city’s Birth

P. 21

2.1- Politic genotype

2.1.1 - Politic origin of Spanish case study

2.1.1 - Politic origin of Chinese case study

2.1.1 - Politic origin of Angolan case study

P 22

2.2 - Economic phenotype

2.2.1 - Spanish speculative bubble

2.2.2 - Chinese speculative bubble

2.2.3 - Angolan speculative bubble

P 24

2.3- Delivery

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2.3.1 - Inauguration of Sesena Nueva city, the chosen Spanish case study P 26

2.3.2 - Inauguration of Ordos Kangbashi, the chosen Chinese case study

2.3.3 - Inauguration of Kilamba Kiaxi, the chosen Angolan case study


Chapter 3- Physical Check-up P. 29 3.1 - .Macro scale

P 37

3.1.1 - Sesena Nueva landuse map

3.1.2 - Kilamba Kiaxi landuse map

3.1.3 - Ordos Kangbashi landuse map

3.2 - Micro scale

3.2.2 - Typical urban block analyse of Sesena Nueva case study

3.2.3 - Typical urban block analyse of Kilamba Kiaxi case study

3.2.4 - Typical urban block analyse of Ordos Kangbashi case study

P 53

3.3 - Nano scale

P 61

3.3.1 - Building pictures and observations of Sesena Nueva case study

3.3.2 - Building pictures and observations of Kilamba Kiaxi case study

3.3.3 -Building pictures and observations of Ordos Kangbashi case

study

Chapter 4- Medication 4.1-Social environment rejection

4.1.1 - Sesena Nueva social environement rejection

4.1.2 - Ordos kangbashi social environement rejection

4.2.3- Kilamaba Kiaxi social environement rejection

4.2- Treatment

4.2.1 - Spanish Treatment for Coma cities

4.2.2 - Chinese Treatment for Coma cities

4.2.3 - Angolan Treatment for Coma cities

P. 69 P 70

P 72

4.3- Direct and secondary treatment effect

4.3.1 - Actual state of Sesena after treatment

4.3.2 - Actual state of Ordos after treatment

4.3.3 - Actual state of Kilamba Kiaxi after treatment

P 73

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Chapter 5- Conclusion 5.1 - Conclusion

5.2 - Website’s creation: www.comacities.com

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P.87

P 87

6.2 - Bibliography 6.3 - Appendix : Interviews

P 79 P 82

Chapter 6- Sources 6.1 - List of references

P.79

xi

P 91 P 94


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Pict 1: Seseña, Spain Source: El Pais Semanal, “Seseña, más allá del Pocero”, Septembre 26, 2016.

Pict 2: Kilamba, Angola Source: by le Figaro “En Angola, la ville fantome bati par la Chine, July 05, 2012.

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Pict 3:Ordos Kangbashi, China Source: Wonder Image studio, June 05, 2014.


1.3 - Introduction N

owadays more than the half of the world population lives in urban environments.

The Mc Kinsey Global Institute (MGI) has estimated that between now and 2025, the world’s urban population will grow by 65 million people a year, or almost 179,000 every

6 Bouton, Shannon «Unlocking the future: The keys to making cities great»,McKinsey and Company in Article,June 2015.

day6. Main cities are becoming more and more saturated leading to a massive need for new cities. In order to meet this growing demand and drive all too often overly aggressive political agendas, urban projects are designed and built all over the world. The term of urban project refers specifically to urbanization activities operating at the scale of a district, a

7 Govan, Fiona, « The ghost towns of Spain: Images that are desolate symbols of collapsed property market » in The Telegraph , Madrid, February 16th, 2012.

8 Redvers, Louise, « Angola’s Chinese-built ghost town » in BBC News, Kilamba, July 3rd, 2012

satellite city or a territory, rather than the scale of a single parcel or building. Choosing the most relevant example for each scale; Sesena (cf picture 1) was supposed to be « Europe’s biggest residential district »7 , Kilamba (cf picture 2) believed to be « one of the largest newly-built satellite cities” 8 projects on the African continent and Kangbashi (cf picture 3), a « crowning glory and the futuristic metropolis of Asia »9 . After their construction, Sesena counts nowadays 13,000 homes (Spain), Kilamba 25,000 (Angola)

9 Richter, Darmon, « Welcome To The World’s Largest Ghost City: Ordos, China » in GizModo, March 13th, 2014.

and Kangbashi 500,000 (China) with water, gas and electricity systems, qualified green spaces, commercial areas and an urban connection. They can respectively almost be considered as reasonable places to live. However these three urban projects from three different continents have a common denominator, less than 12 percent of their respective houses are occupied despite the need for housing in their respective country. Considered as already dead or ghosted; a myriad of essays, symposia, newspaper articles, and politicians criticize and blame it on speculative urbanization. At its most basic level, speculative urbanization refers to the construction of new urban infrastructure or settlements for primarily political or economic purposes, rather than to meet real (as opposed to artificially projected) demographic or market demand.

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“Never again” or “This time things have fundamentally changed” are typical comments that have been made in the media by different experts. However, one can argue that Sesena was built in 2000, Ordos in 2004 and Kilamba in 2008 and that many new 10 Hulshof, Michel, “Chinese box”,in Mark N49, April-May, 2014 ,p141-142.

similar cases continue to appear in Africa10 . This research thesis aims at defining this new trend of urban trauma by addressing to three main questions: 1. What kind of influence does the political and economic environment have on the development of Coma Cities? 2. What are the physically recognizable symptoms of Coma Cities? 3. How do their respective environments react to their trauma? The main motive of this research thesis happens to also be its main difficulty. The biggest challenge was actually to find detailed and reliable information about this new phenomenon of Coma Cities. While many mainstream articles from journalists and bloggers exist, just a few books on this specific topic have been published yet.

11 Marcinkosk Christopher, The City that Never Was, December 2015. 12 Poiraudeau Anthony, Projet El Pocero, dans une ville fantôme de la crise espagnole, Paris 2014. 13 Shepard Wade, Ghost Cities of China, the story of cities without people in the wirld’s most populated country, London 2015.

I found only four books including three that were published between 2014 and 201511,12,13. After I spent several months gathering data about these Coma Cities, I chose three different case studies at different scales for in-depth examination: Sesena, Kilamba and Ordos. A comparative analysis led me to several questions that the authors Anthony Poiraudeau, Wade Shepard, Tom Miller and Difei Xu agreed to answer during interviews. Two complementary site visit of Ordos had given me a lot of additional information. I spent first one weekend in September and then two weeks in April 2016. For the second travel experience I chose to live in an inner mongolian family of Kangbashi. A longer stay in a total immersion helped me to gather precisous interview and additional data points in order to prepare my diploma’s design project aiming at revitalizing Ordos. Cross-checking information from different media and sources, such as television shows, newspaper articles or onsite interviews coming from different parts of the world, helped me to build up my own opinion. When I was still a student in France researching the subject, ghost cities seemed to be the final stage of a lethal process with no remedy possible. In China, Angola and Spain these expecctations were proven untrue. This couple of years-long research project closes up my architecture and urban planning studies. It is therefore an opportunity to reflect on what I learned during this five year-long curriculum. So far I have established three major takeaways for my future career. The first one is not to rush to conclusion based on a limited number of information sources. The second one is that site visits allow to witness things first hand and help you step back and appreciate the full big picture before digging deeper and focus. The last one is that it is acceptable to continuously challenge the basic fundamentals of your research if that enriches its content, even if that happens just a few weeks before your final report is due. I found more important to build a robust and meaningful argument compromising to

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some degree on its final format than to deliver a partially bias recommendation in


sophisticated packaging. To be clear, this research thesis is not a declaration of an anti-development, antiurbanization or anti-globalization position. In fact, it defends the opposite view. The increasing demand for controlled urbanization is naturally implied by global population growth projections, migratory trends, and climatic disturbances. Urbanization at this speed and scale demands a new set of priorities focused on the process of urbanization, rather than the product of urbanization. Analyzing the root causes that led to coma cities, I understood that major shortcomings were made along the urban design and planning process in order to address real estate market surge. Without going into too much detail in this introduction, real estate developers seeking first movers’ advantage can be tempted to expedite the urban design and planning process and thereby overlook key process milestones. So while it is highly unlikely that urban design and planning can fundamentally alter the nature of global real estate development, at the very least it can recalibrate and balance its speculative nature. This research thesis is organized into three parts in which Sesena, Ordos and Kilamba (respectively the Spanish, Chinese and Angolan case) are developed in parallel. The first part describes the contextual and historical background in which the three coma cities emerged. More specifically, a particular attention is paid to the role of policy. Similar to the genotype for the human body, the policy carries all the invisible information that will shape the coma city economy. This information can be modified by the environment and a part of it will be visible and another part hidden in the phenotype. To continue on this parallel drawn, the human body phenotype acts like the economy for the coma city in that it is partially derived from the expression of policy as well as the influence of environmental factors and the interactions of both. The phenotype is what we can see once the baby is delivered just like the economy is driven by the three cities’ policy. The second part literally does the physical checkup of a coma city from the macro scale all the way down to the nano-scale. The macro scale contains the general urban details. The first map is a comparison between the projected city plan and its actual look. It is followed by a transportation system map, land use repartition and a table of general city data. The micro scale analyses the coma city building block and reports the different present building typologies. The nano-scale focuses on existing apartment plans, recaps the different steps existing from the more public to the more private space and reports the building quality of construction. The third part is about the coma city treatment through a diverse medication to alleviate if not cure the disease. Because the coma cities targeted housing market needs were not well understood this essentially created an initial first gap between supply and demand expectations. Several policy and economy remediation measures were implemented by the coma city planners. The direct consequences of these measures and their secondary effects are assessed. This last part therefore summarizes the lessons learned and provides a set of recommendation for action to revitalize coma cities.

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1.4 - General background map exp El Quinon, Sesena Country

Spain

Distance from the capital

40 km from Madrid

Slogan

Seseña was supposed to be Europe’s biggest residential complex

Area Investor / Banks

Year of the construction Construction period

2004 3 years

State of the construction

One third construction

Cost of the construction

$5.6bn

Planned residents

30,000

People actually living

200

Number of homes built

5,100

Number of Homes supposed to be built

13,500

Homes sold

2,000

Percentage of sold homes

14%

Country

Angola

Rock concert, swimming pools, stadium, sporting fields, artificial lake and green area

Distance from the capital

32 km from Luanda

Slogan

Kilamba believe to be one of the largest new-build “satellite cities” project on the African continent

Infrastructures

Home’s initial cost

$250,000 in 2008

Home’s actual price

$73,600 in 2014

Percentage of the price evolution Medium salary per person per days Number of unemployment in the country Area main resource

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220 ha Francisco Hernando company named Onde 2000 / International bank Santander / the local saving banks like Caja de Ahorros del Mediterráneo and Caja Castilla-La Mancha

-50% $65.4 per day in Spain

Kilamba Kiaxi

Area

5 000 ha

Investor / Banks

China International Trust and Investment Corporation / Industrial and Commercial Bank of China / Delta Imobilar

23% Car wheel plants

Year of the construction

2008

Construction period

3 years

State of the construction

Mid-construction

Cost of the construction

$3.5bn

Planned residents

500,000

People actually living

40,000

Number of homes built

20,000 apartments

Number of Homes supposed to be built

25,000

Homes sold

220 apartments had been sold out of the first release of 2,800

Percentage of sold homes

9%

Infrastructures

100 commercial premises ,a dozen schools and 15 sports field

Home’s initial cost

From $120,000 to $200,000 for an apartment

Home’s actual price

$470 sq/ foot in 2011

Percentage of the price evolution

0%

Medium Salary per person per days

two-thirds of Angolans who live on less than $2 a day

Number of unemployment in the country

26%

Area main resource

Oil exploited by China a kind of economic bargain


liciting the three case studies

Ordos Kangbashi Country

Inner Mongolia, China

Distance from the capital

40 km from Madrid

Slogan

180 km from Beijing 25km down the highway from the old city

Area Investor / Banks

Year of the construction Construction period State of the construction Cost of the construction Planned residents

35000 ha Chinese Communist Party (80%) / Local Government (14%) / Property Developers (6%) 2004 5 years Mid-construction $160bn 1 000 000

People actually living

20,000

Number of homes built

250,000

Number of Homes supposed to be built

500,000

Homes sold

10,000

Percentage of sold homes Infrastructures

2% 2 commercials center, artificial lake, library, airport, hotel, opera, museums, office towers, administrative centers, theatres and sports facilities as a stadium.

Home’s initial cost

$1,100 sq/foot in 2006

Home’s actual price

$470 sq/ foot in 2011

Percentage of the price evolution Medium Salary per person per days Number of unemployment in the country Area main resource

-60% $1.5 per day in Inner Mongolia 4% Coal mining and natural gas

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Chapter 2- Coma city’s Birth T

he first part of this master thesis describes the genealogy of the three Coma Cities.

This genealogy describes the invisible role of the political system as the genotype of a Coma City. The genotype of an organism is the inherited map; it carries within it its genetic code as the political system carries all the information and legislation. Depending on the environment and mutation some information will be shown and another part hidden in the phenotype. In this analogy the phenotype acts like the economy. The direct visible character of the economical phenotype is principally the speculative urbanization in Spain, China and Angola. The vast majority of the media judge the speculative urbanization as a direct consequence of the Coma City state. In this direction, which information and legislations coming by the politics have been hidden or express in the speculative urbanization? In other terms, which political system code is behind the birth of Speculative Urbanization?

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China’s trade with Angola, US$ bn 30 25 Imports

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Exports

15 10 5 0

I-1. Politic genotype year

2001

2003

2005

2007

2009

EU’s members money 1GBP

ESP spanish pesetas

Pound Sterling

Spanish Pesetas

2011

T

he first phase of the speculative urbanization in Spain, China and Angola, was to

210 , 8286 ESP

define new land use regulations, in order to stimulate the investors and developers.

1FRF

25 , 3653 ESP

The ground legislation is seen here as the key to begin speculative urbanization. At

1ITL

its most basic level, speculative urbanization refers to the construction of new urban

1DM

0 , 0859 ESP Spanish Pesetas9 85, 0718 ESP

1PTE

0 , 8229 ESP

French Franc

Spanish Pesetas

Italian Lire

Deutch Mark

infrastructure or settlement for primarily political or economical purposes, rather than

Spanish Pesetas

Portuguese Escudo

to meet real (as opposed to artificially projected) demographic or market demand.

Spanish Pesetas

1GBD

2, 0478 ESP

1BEF

4, 1246 ESP

1IEP

211.2666 ESP

Greek Drachme

When Spain entered the European Union in 1986, the value of the pesetas was relatively

Spanish Pesetas

Belgium Franc

low compared to other european member currencies ( cf graph 1). For instance, one

Spanish Pesetas

Irish Pound

French Franc was approximately the equivalent of 25,3 pesetas and one British Pound

Spanish Pesetas

Graph 1 : Currency converter of the past, in the year 1986 Source: Website, www.fxtop.com

represented 213 pesetas14. Taking advantage of the new trustworthy currency, lowcost way of life and cheap real estate price, Spain became highly attractive for private european investment from international English and German banks. Ten years later,

ort to the EU $ 239.7 bn

ports to China 107.3 bn

14 Source: Currency converter of the past, Website www.fxtop.com

the economic growth began to slow down. The sharp decline in share prices on the

Japan exports to China $ 129.4 bn Madrid

China

15 Boesler, Matthew, «The Worst totalCrisis export Unemployment In Modern $ 1,165.7 bn Now » in History Is Unfolding Right Business Insider Article, 6 May 2013.

and Barcelona stock exchanges (on average about 20%) created cause for

concern among both business associations and trade unions. The latter voiced their Export to concern Japan $ 100 bn

about the risk of increased unemployment, which remained around 12.5%15.

José Maria Aznar was just elected as the new president. He was determined to boost the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) and stood for the maximum legal time as a president

16 Poiraudeau Anthony, Projet El Pocero, dans une ville fantôme de la crise espagnole, Paris 2013, p50.

Export to US $ 100 bn

Us exports to China $ 69.4 bn

in Spain. Two years after, in 1998, the Spanish government under his policy enacts the “new jus soli” 16. It allowed simplifying the conversion from an agricultural land into constructible land. There were no more needs to justify the exchange statute. The real estate private market exploded, and at that time the best deal was to buy low cost farmland and to convert it into an expensive buildable area. All the territory became an open air treasure raising immediately its market value once requalified. José Maria Aznar was

22

reelected in 2000 with an outright majority. The Spanish electorate’s participation was the lowest for a general election in Spain in the post-Franco era.


EU’s members money 1GBP

ESP spanish pesetas 210 , 8286 ESP Spanish Pesetas

Pound Sterling

1FRF

25 , 3653 ESP

1ITL

1DM

0 , 0859 ESP Spanish Pesetas9 85, 0718 ESP

1PTE

0 , 8229 ESP

1GBD

2, 0478 ESP

1BEF

4, 1246 ESP

1IEP

211.2666 ESP

French Franc

Spanish Pesetas

Italian Lire

Deutch Mark

Spanish Pesetas

Portuguese Escudo

Greek Drachme

Spanish Pesetas

Spanish Pesetas

Belgium Franc

Spanish Pesetas

Irish Pound

Spanish Pesetas

In China, the international economic crisis of 2008 has limited the exportation commerce (cf graphic 2). It was the first time the country’s GDP growth has dipped Export to the EU $ 239.7 bn

EU exports to China $ 107.3 bn

Japan exports to China $ 129.4 bn

China total export $ 1,165.7 bn

Export to Japan $ 100 bn

below 10 percent in almost three years. In order to face the lack of exterior exchange and the possibility of the pursuit of an economy slowdown, the government chose to balance it by an interior economic growth column. Two decrees concerning land usage were massively used. The first one concerns the business between selling and change of land-use statute. “As collectively owned rural land cannot yet be sold directly

Export to US $ 100 bn

Us exports to China $ 69.4 bn

Graph 2 : The China symdrome-Source: Website, www.leguardian.com

to developers for commercial, residential or industrial development, the value of it is vastly lower than that of urban construction land, which is fair for development. This gap in the real estate value scale presents a prime money-making opportunity for the local government, which just happens to be the only one with power to change the designation of land from rural to urban. So local government buy a land use right at rural prices, reclassify the land into urban, and then sell high to developers, pocketing

17 Shepard Wade, Ghost Cities of China, the story of cities without people in the wirld’s most populated country, Zed Book, London 2015,p26.

the difference” 17. The mean compensation that the local government paid to the farmers was approximately $17, 850 per acre. When it was resold by local authorities, mostly to commercial property developers, the mean price was $740,000 per acre. Following the China Land and Resources Statistical Yearbook from various years, the government income from land sales jumped from one million RMB to three million in three years between 2008 and 2011. The second land uses right concerns the right of large scale demolitions and relocations.

18 Ibid, p27

« By decree of Chinese constitution and property law, areas zoned as urban can only be requisitioned for initiatives that support the public interest » 18 tough what ‘public interest is remains undefined. Governmental authorities colluding and conspiring secretly with developers regularly sell land from under rural collectives and entire neighborhoods in existing cities to make a profit, which all too often doesn’t trickle down to the people who are losing their homes, land and live hoods. Every year, local governments appropriate land from four million rural Chinese. None of this is a good deal for the farmers. Some Chinese researchers show that as a result the land conflicts are the source of 65 percent of the more than 180,000 protests China experiences

19 Salidjanova, Nargiza, « China’s New Income Inequality Reform Plan and Implications for Rebalancing » in U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission Staff Research Backgrounder, March 12th, 2013.

20 Source: www.indexmundi.com, Angola Inflation rate

annually19. Since the end in 2002 of a three decade of war, Angola follows a gargantuan inflation based on its inexhaustible resource of oil and diamonds. The same year, the inflation reached 108.893 percent as an annual percentages of average consumer prices based on year-on-year changes20 . Seen as the African country with the fastest growing economy, its capital Luanda is saturated. The need of decentralization is crucial and the lack of housing and urban planning knowledge is considerable. Facing this reality, the president José Eduardo dos Santos was at the end of its mandate. In order to be reelected, he promised to build one million new houses. The National Housing Institute (INH) is leading this campaign, dubbed ‘My Dream, My Home’, which is not limited to address only housing issues; the national program also integrates services such as

23


health centers, hospitals, shopping centers. Frequently tied to these concessional

China’s trade with Angola, US$ bn 30

loans are two conditions: the money has to be invested in infrastructure, and the

25

infrastructure has to be built by a Chinese company. Chinese companies submit tenders that undercut those of their local competitors, because a Chinese firm’s state-

Imports

20

Exports

owned status comes with financial guarantee by the Chinese government and a loan

15

from one of the nation’s state-owned banks. Because African clients look mainly at

10

cost estimates, Chinese construction companies win most of the bids. Angola chose to

5

borrow to the Chinese the land used during the construction time. It’s the first 100%

0

year 2001

2003

2005

2007

2009

2011

Chinese built city in Africa. Nevertheless, « Because African clients look mainly at cost estimates, Chinese

Graph 3 : China’s trade with Angola from 2011 to 2011 in US$ bn. Source: CEIC.

construction companies win most of the bids » would be considered by Tom Burgis just as the official reason to the strong relation between Angola and China21. According to

EU’s ESP members money spanish pesetas 21 Burgis, Tom, « China in Africa: 1GBP 210middleman , 8286 ESP how Sam Pa became the

him, there is a historical hidden relation between José Eduardo dos Santos, the actual Angolan president and Sam Pa, the chairman of China Sonango (Principal Chinese

Spanish Pesetas

Pound Sterling

» in FT Magazine, August 8th, 2014. 25 , 3653 ESP 1FRF French Franc

international fund). Because « Sam was a big player in arms in Africa. Oil, diamonds

Spanish Pesetas

1ITL Lire 22Italian Ibid. 1DM

0 , 0859 ESP Spanish Pesetas9 85, 0718 ESP

1PTE

0 , 8229 ESP

Deutch Mark

and weapons go together. »

Portuguese Escudo

Spanish Pesetas

1GBD 23 Ibid. 1BEF

Greek Drachme

contact address « Pa found himself in the right place at the right time. » 23. Because this

4, 1246 ESP

political system is not visible from outside, this is what a genotype not expressed in

Spanish Pesetas

1IEP

the phenotype means.

211.2666 ESP

Irish Pound

so when Dos Santos finally ground down the Unita

2, 0478 ESP Spanish Pesetas

Belgium Franc

22

rebels, he appealed for funds to aid reconstruction. He looked back on his trustworthy

Spanish Pesetas

Spanish Pesetas

2

km (thousands) 4,5 4,0 3,5 Japan exports to China $ 129.4 bn

3,0 port to the EU $ 239.7 bn 2,5

China total export $ 1,165.7 bn

1,5

ports to China $ 107.3 bn

Export to Japan $ 100 bn

1,0

A

0,5 0 2001

2004

Export to US $ 100 bn

2007

Us exports to China $ 69.4 bn

2.2- Economic phenotype

year 2012

2010

phenotype is the composite of an organism’s observable characteristics. The

speculative urbanization is a phenotype composite of a coma city. Each coma is then developing it differently depending on the influence of the environmental factor and the interaction between the political system and the environment. In this direction, the requalification of the land use by the political system let the freedom for the real estate developers to speculate. The result is directly visible, without law restriction the land’s value does not keep to the increase, the GDP steep rises and thousands of

New paradigm

thousands of houses are built.

Denial Illusion

Black normal bull rap

Cupidity

In Spain, the land requalification is beneficial from all points of view. The local authorities

Fear

Enthusiasm Capitulation

Media attention

Selling

Back to a normal

downward trap Medium growth

Take off desperation

Hiddenphase

24

Realization

Mania

find unlimited economic and fiscal revenue; the developers find different ways to convince the mayors and the mayor was attracted by the idea of hosting a great complex in his collectivity. Without any restriction, the requalification is still going and the real estate price does not stop rising. It is the « Mania phase » of a typical speculative bubble

Eclatement

Graph 4 : Speculative bubble Scheme - Source : Website, www.wikipedia.com

(cf graphic 4) Consequences are directly visible. Eurostat and the Spanish Ministry of


housing relate large numbers the prices per square meter of new flats have been growing from 1000 Euro in 1998 to 3000 Euro in 2008 and from 2003 to 2006, the growth value per year has reached an additional 20 percent24. “In 2000 investments

24 Anne Cheyvialle, “L’économie espagnol à la gueule de bois”, Le Figaro, 28 octobre 2008.

are guaranteed to profit” described Anthony Poiraudeau in Projet El Pocero25 it’s an “independent and autarchic growth following no rules”. Indeed, it became more

25 Poiraudeau, Anthony, Projet El Pocero, dans une ville fantome de la crise espagnole, Inculte, Paris 2013, p24

profitable to invest in housing in order to resell a few years after, than to keep money in the bank. Therefore banks allowed long term mortgages. Even if the salary was low, the enterprise was recruiting. Families’ debt was increasing exponentially as each family was devoting 40 percent of its income to the mortgage. Nevertheless, housing was built in surplus. Spain needed 300,000 habitation units per year but was producing 700,000, more than the double. The economic system was based on

km2 (thousands) 4,5

a bubble that was self-inflating. When the bubble exploded, the economy stopped

4,0

consequently. No more constructions, no more order, frozen mortgages, massive lay-

3,5

offs. Unemployment that was above 7.9 percent in May 2007 reached 24.8 percent

3,0

in June 2012. Anthony Poiraudeau estimated that 15 percent of the Spanish housing

2,5

were empty, that is enough housing capacity to host 3,500.000 persons, a population

1,5

Anthony Poiraudeau compared to that of Lithuania or Uruguay.

1,0 0,5 0 2001

2004

2007

year 2012

2010

Graph 5 : Construction supply : competitive allocation from 2001 to 2012 - Source: China Land Resources Stastical Yearbook, various years

The current construction growth in China (cf graphic 5) is comparable to the Mania phase of Spain between 1990 and 2000. In fact, the Chinese trend keeps growing on its own. ”In 2000, the portion of land sales to municipal government’s other revenue was 9.3%, by 2011 it was up to 74.1 %” 26. To put it in stark terms, China’s current fiscal system forces local government to depend on land sales, which creates a situation

26 Shepard Wade, Ghost Cities of China, the story of cities without New paradigm people in the wirld’s most populated country, Zed Book, London 2015,p33. Denial Illusion

where cities need to keep expanding and developing in order to be able to afford the cities function. Viewed in this way, Wade Shepard compared China’s urbanization

Black normal bull rap

movement to a runaway train.

Cupidity Fear

However the decree ‘All the land belongs to the government. The government has the

Enthusiasm Capitulation

Media attention

27 Anne Stevenson-Yang, downward trap conference Selling Medium wth China 2015 Risks, DeflationarygroBust Take off and Beyond , Schmitz Media, China 2013 Hiddenphase

Realization

Mania

Back to a normal

desperation

Eclatement

right to clear the land. Take it over, and then either build on it themselves, sell it to a developer or use it as collateral for loans‘ 27 has destroyed the Chinese patrimony. According to Tianjin University, China had 3.7 million villages in 2000. Ten years later that number had dropped to 2.6 million. In a single decade, China lost over a million villages- nearly 300 per day. This uncontrolled growth of demolition and construction lead to incredible heights of urbanization. “Credit Suisse, using the data gathered by Shanghai university, has claimed that the urban vacancy rate in China is 22%, or around 49 million homes. According to the calculations of the Bank of America’s Ting Lu, China has roughly 20 million rightfully vacant homes (…) The actual number of deserted domiciles in China is open to debate, but one thing is certain: the world’s most populated country has the world’s largest number of empty homes. Whether the number of dwellings without residents is 20 or 49 million (…) and such is enough to warrant the suggestion that China may be looking at a severe housing oversupply

28 Ibid,p56.

crisis.” 28

25


Several kilometers away, in Angola, the Chinese government imported the Group China International Trust and Investment Corporation (CITIC) (cf picture 4). China grapples Angola from its two main weaknesses: the governance issues of a real estate, and its post-conflict situation. Once they accepted the first unbeatable bargain, Angola government gave the monopole of oil resources to the Chinese. It’s the ‘Oil for Housing’ deal. Africa accounts for 35 percent of the Chinese overseas market in the construction sector. The Chinese Construction Firms (CCF) contracts in Africa came to $40 billion in 2012, an increase by 45 percent since 200929. The Sino–Angolan partnership evolved, as such that in 2011, around 50 Chinese state-owned enterprises Pict 4: Chinese vice president visits housing project in Angola Source : People Daily’s online, November 21th, 2010.

and 400 small-to-medium enterprises had in-construction contracts. Through the mechanism described above, CITIC completed about 1,500 residential buildings in Luanda’s area by 2013 with five new satellite cities under construction: Kilamba Kiaxi,

29 Information Office of the State Council, ‘China-Africa Economic and Trade Co-operation White Paper’, 2013.

Cacuaco, Zango, Km 44 and Capari.

2.3- Delivery A

phenotype is visible from the birth of the organism. Once the organism is born

his phenotype can still be modified by the environment. The birth of a coma city is symbolized by its inauguration event. The inauguration represents the moment where the city is officially presented to the external world by the possible visit and sale of its apartments. That moment marks the big shock, leading the city in a coma state. Three cities of three different scale have been chosen as examples. Pict 5: The urban dream of Paco el Pocero Source: Design as Politic, Emmeric Mike, September 10th , 2013.

El Quinon in Sesena is the most relevant example of a coma city in Spain. The craziness of its ambition is due to the total paranoia of the self-made man Francisco Hernando named alos «Paco El Pocero». He was the Manager of Onde 2000, a big Spanish real estate developer company at that time. It was supposed to be one of the largest complex developments in Europe, with an original plan of 13,500 units costing over 9 billion Euro to build. 35 of the 89 buildings promised have been built; 14 of the 35 building « semi closed », 14 towers of 47 towers and the 7 linear building are finished. However, in 2014, no more than 12 percent of its capacity is occupied, totaling around 3,000 inhabitants. Anthony Poiraudeau finished at the end of his book by writing a sensitive description of the scenery he was facing. He was explaining that even more shocking than the numbers, it’s the impression the city gives that is scary “From the 30 Poiraudeau, Anthony, Projet El Pocero, dans une ville fantome de la crise espagnole, Inculte, Paris 2013, p56.

hill’s top view, instead of a model, the panoramic view of El Quinon evocates to me a bad 3D reinterpretation of the ‘Cité Idéale’, the great painting of Urbano. El Quinon looks like a theater decoration with no other drama than his own, deserted and mute” (cf picture 5).30

26


China’s new cities are comparable to monuments. They are trophies commemorating the rise of the municipalities which built them and there is a tendency to overdo it. Built for over a million people, the city of Ordos was designed to be the crowning glory of Inner Mongolia. Doomed to incompletion however, this futuristic metropolis now raised is completely empty in the deserts of Northern China. Only two percent of its buildings this city hosting emptiness « The wind was blowing gently, the sun was shining, and the magpies were squawking. (…) Where I was Pict 5 : Rooftop View of Ordos Kangbashi’s building. Source : Personal picture, Eva Garcia, September 2nd, 2015. 31 Shepard Wade, Ghost Cities of China, the story of cities without people in the world’s most populated country, Zed Book, London 2015,p69.

standing was all calm and quiet, the raucous soundtrack of the city was dulled to a quiet, static-like hum. It was all gargantuan, entire place simply wasn’t built to human scale, which is particularly due to the fact that Kangbashi has one of the largest public squares on the planet running through the center of it »

.

31

Spanning 5,000 hectares (12,355 acres), the development of Kilamba is the largest of several new “satellite cities” being constructed by Chinese firms around Angola, and it is believed to be one of the largest new-build projects on the continent. There are 123 buildings of 4 floors, 160 of 8 floors, 68 of 10 floor and 58 of 12 floors (cf picture 6). Each one has four apartments by floors after the ground floor level. The jewel in Angola’s post-war reconstruction crown, Kilamba is the star of glossy government promotional videos which show smiling families enjoying a new style of living away from the dust and confusion of central Luanda where millions live in sprawling slums. But the people Pict 6 : Mysterious Chinese Imports from Africa? Source : China Africa real story, May 2nd, 2011.

in these films are only actors, playing in modern ruins and despite all the hype, nearly a year since the first batch of 2,800 apartments went on sale, only 220 have been sold.

27


28


Chapter 3- Physical Check-up T

he second part dressed the physical check up of a Coma city from the macro scale down

to the nano scale. Not all organisms with the same genotype look or act the same way. Appearance and behavior are modifed by environmental and developmental conditions. Therefore, the physical structure of these three cities from different wingspan and place are scrutinized. The analysis is done at different scale in order to list the common visible symptom at different zoom level. The macro zoom represents the urban scale; it puts in parallel cities map and data such as the transportation, existing green space and the land use. The micro scale zoom corresponds to the block scale, it reports the main blocks characteristic and the different building distribution on a same plot. The nano scale makes explicit the building typology from its plan to its actual quality of construction.

29


time to the main favorite destinations: Name

City

025 I-S-I Mad

Tolede Illescas Madrid

frequences

Time

1 time a day/ Monday-Friday 60 min 3 times a day/ Mon-Fri 35 min Every 30min/ Mon-Fri 60min/Sat-Sun 58 min

SESENA SESENA EL QUINON

N

500 m

a) Geographic situation Main centers

Sesena Province 72,68 km2

Madrid 608 km2

National Road

Highway

Regular Road

Airport

Train Station

Sesena Nueva 2,2 km2

Main Infrastructure

b) Air traffic Yes

Individual airport: The closest airport by car:

No

47 km

3 5 min

N°1 Car

N°2 Bus

Yes

No

c) Ground traffic Most common way of circulation: Existing direct urban connection by a Highway: Closest highway from the center:

3

km

7

N°3 Train

min

Highway existing and travel time to the favorite main destinations: Name

Destination

Distance

Time

A4 A4 CM-4001

Valdemoro Madrid Tolede

12 Km 42 Km 53 Km

15 min 50 min 41 min

Exisiting Subway traffic system:

Yes

No

Existing individual train station:

Yes

No

Efficient existing bus’ system:

Yes

No

Line Bus existing and travel time to the main favorite destinations: Name

City

025 I-S-I Mad

Tolede Illescas Madrid

frequences

Time

1 time a day/ Monday-Friday 60 min 3 times a day/ Mon-Fri 35 min Every 30min/ Mon-Fri 60min/Sat-Sun 58 min

30 500 m

N


31


time to the main favorite destinations: Name

City

025 I-S-I Mad

Tolede Illescas Madrid

frequences

Time

1 time a day/ Monday-Friday 60 min 3 times a day/ Mon-Fri 35 min Every 30min/ Mon-Fri 60min/Sat-Sun 58 min

ORDOS KANGBASHI ORDOS KANGBASHI

N

500 m

a) Geographic situation Main urban centers

Yijinhoulou 14,3 km2

Dongsheng 50 km2

National Road

Highway

Regular Road

Airport

Train Station

Ordos Kangbashi 35 km2

Main Infrastructure

b) Air traffic Yes

Individual airport:

25 Km

The closest airport by car:

No 30 Min

Time and price for the favorite cities destination: Destination

Frequency

Beijing Hohhot Xi’an

4 times a day 1 time a day 4 times a day

Time duration

Price

1 h 30 0 h 40 1 h 30

97 $ 130 $ 38 $

c) Ground traffic Most common way of circulation:

N°1 Car

Existing direct urban connection by a highway

Yes

Closest highway from the center:

25 Km

N°2 Train

N°3 Bus

No 30 Min

Highway existing and travel time to the favorite destination: Name

Destination

G6 G 210 G 210

Hohhot Yijinhouoluo Dongsheng

Time duration 160 min 10 min 45 min

Exisiting Subway traffic system:

Yes

No

Existing train Station:

Yes

No

30 km

Closest train station:

Distance 233 km 6 km 35 km

3 1 min

Favorite Train destination and prices: Destination Beijing Hohhot Baotou

Frequency

Time duration

1 time a day by night train 12 times a day 6 times a day

Existing bus’ system efficient:

Yes

15 h 00 4 h 00 1 h 45

Price 35 $ 6$ 3$

No

32 500 m

N


33


time to the main favorite destinations: Name

City

025 I-S-I Mad

Tolede Illescas Madrid

frequences

Time

1 time a day/ Monday-Friday 60 min 3 times a day/ Mon-Fri 35 min Every 30min/ Mon-Fri 60min/Sat-Sun 58 min

ORDOS ORDOS KANGBASHI KANGBASHI

N

500 m

a) Geographic situation Main urban centers

Yijinhoulou 14,3 km2

Dongsheng 50 km2

National Road

Highway

Regular Road

Airport

Train Station

Ordos Kangbashi 35 km2

Main Infrastructure

b) Air traffic Yes

Individual airport:

25 Km

The closest airport by car:

No

30 Min

Time and price for the favorite cities destination: Destination

Frequency

Beijing Hohhot Xi’an

4 times a day 1 time a day 4 times a day

Time duration

Price

1 h 30 0 h 40 1 h 30

97 $ 130 $ 38 $

c) Ground traffic Most common way of circulation:

N°1 Car

Existing direct urban connection by a highway

Yes

Closest highway from the center:

25 Km

N°2 Train

N°3 Bus

No

30 Min

Highway existing and travel time to the favorite destination: Name

Destination

G6 G 210 G 210

Hohhot Yijinhouoluo Dongsheng

Time duration 160 min 10 min 45 min

Exisiting Subway traffic system:

Yes

No

Existing train Station:

Yes

No

30 km

Closest train station:

Distance 233 km 6 km 35 km

3 1 min

Favorite Train destination and prices: Destination Beijing Hohhot Baotou

Frequency

Time duration

1 time a day by night train 12 times a day 6 times a day

Existing bus’ system efficient:

Yes

15 h 00 4 h 00 1 h 45

Price 35 $ 6$ 3$

No

34 500 m

N


35


SESENA a) Geographic situation Main centers

Sesena Province 72,68 km2

Madrid 608 km2

National Road

Highway

Regular Road

Airport

Train Station

Sesena Nueva 2,2 km2

Main Infrastructure

b) Air traffic Yes

Individual airport: The closest airport by car:

No

47 km

3 5 min

N°1 Car

N°2 Bus

Yes

No

c) Ground traffic Most common way of circulation: Existing direct urban connection by a Highway: Closest highway from the center:

3

km

7

N°3 Train

min

Highway existing and travel time to the favorite main destinations: Name

Destination

A4 A4 CM-4001

Valdemoro Madrid Tolede

Distance

Time

12 Km 42 Km 53 Km

15 min 50 min 41 min

Exisiting Subway traffic system:

Yes

No

Existing individual train station:

Yes

No

Efficient existing bus’ system:

Yes

No

Line Bus existing and travel time to the main favorite destinations: Name

City

025 I-S-I Mad

Tolede Illescas Madrid

frequences

Time

1 time a day/ Monday-Friday 60 min 3 times a day/ Mon-Fri 35 min Every 30min/ Mon-Fri 60min/Sat-Sun 58 min

N

500 m

0,5 km

Pict 7: Seseña El Quinon, Spain Source: iPlan, April 31th, 2016. SESENA a) Geographic situation Main centers

Sesena Province 72,68 km2

Madrid 608 km2

National Road

Highway

Regular Road

Airport

Train Station

Sesena Nueva 2,2 km2

Main Infrastructure

b) Air traffic Yes

Individual airport: The closest airport by car:

No

47 km

3 5 min

N°1 Car

N°2 Bus

Yes

No

c) Ground traffic Most common way of circulation: Existing direct urban connection by a Highway: Closest highway from the center:

3

km

7

N°3 Train

min

Highway existing and travel time to the favorite main destinations: Name

Destination

Distance

Time

A4 A4 CM-4001

Valdemoro Madrid Tolede

12 Km 42 Km 53 Km

15 min 50 min 41 min

Exisiting Subway traffic system:

Yes

No

Existing individual train station:

Yes

No

Efficient existing bus’ system:

Yes

No

Line Bus existing and travel time to the main favorite destinations: Name

City

025 I-S-I Mad

Tolede Illescas Madrid

frequences

Time

1 time a day/ Monday-Friday 60 min 3 times a day/ Mon-Fri 35 min Every 30min/ Mon-Fri 60min/Sat-Sun 58 min

N

500 m

0,5 km

Pict 8: Kilamba kiaxi, Angola Source: iPlan, April 31th, 2016. SESENA a) Geographic situation Main centers

Sesena Province 72,68 km2

Madrid 608 km2

National Road

Highway

Regular Road

Airport

Train Station

Sesena Nueva 2,2 km2

Main Infrastructure

b) Air traffic Yes

Individual airport: The closest airport by car:

No

47 km

3 5 min

N°1 Car

N°2 Bus

Yes

No

c) Ground traffic Most common way of circulation: Existing direct urban connection by a Highway: Closest highway from the center:

3

km

7

N°3 Train

min

Highway existing and travel time to the favorite main destinations: Name

Destination

Distance

Time

A4 A4 CM-4001

Valdemoro Madrid Tolede

12 Km 42 Km 53 Km

15 min 50 min 41 min

Exisiting Subway traffic system:

Yes

No

Existing individual train station:

Yes

No

Efficient existing bus’ system:

Yes

No

Line Bus existing and travel time to the main favorite destinations: Name

City

025 I-S-I Mad

Tolede Illescas Madrid

frequences

500 m

0,5 km

36

Pict 9: Ordos Kangbashi, China Source: iPlan, April 31th, 2016.

Time

1 time a day/ Monday-Friday 60 min 3 times a day/ Mon-Fri 35 min Every 30min/ Mon-Fri 60min/Sat-Sun 58 min

N


3.1- Macro zoom

37


SESENA

3.1.1 - Sesena Nueva landuse map

36%

28%

Green Space

Housing

19%

17%

Public Facilities

Industry

a) Proportion between the initial landuse statut programed in Sesena

100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Green Space

Housing

Public Facilities

Industry

b) Proportion of area developed and undeveloped for each landuse statut

50%

Area developed

50%

Area undeveloped

c) Proportion between area built and area unbuilt of the city

ÂŤComercialÂť represent the proportion of every urban block with a comercial landuse *

38


Landuse Map Sesena el Quinon

N

0,5 km

Developed Undeveloped Green public space Housing Industry Public Facilities Comercial

39


Active city landmark a - Soccer stadium with athletic course of 500 seats capicity b- Artificial Lake of 25 400 Sqm, a green space equivalent to 20 soccer field area c- Primarly and Secundary School,18 000 sqm, 750 schoolchild

Activity inside block Every housing block contains one semiprivate sportive field one green space of aproximately 180 sqm and one adult and child swiming pool. In total there are 22 swiming pools and 22 basketball and volleyball courts.

Public green space There are three noticeable green space: - a Central spine of 30 m thick and 775 long, aproximately 23 ha is hosting urban furniture such as banches and children playground. - a Central parc of 8 ha - 4 traffic circles hosting statue from the developpers family

Modular building There are three main housing typologies/ In total, there are 29 housing fully built. -14 of the U-shape building -5 of the long-shape building-14 of the tall-shape building

Infrastructure The city is framed in the North and South by two highways the R-4and A-4 linking Sesena directly to Madrid. One central main avenue of four ways is connecting the different blocs. The circulations bands delivering all the building are double way. There is no road inside the housing block.

40


ndmark

m with atheltic course ity f 25 400 Sqm, a green to 20 soccer field area Secundary School,18 oolchild

b c

a

e block

block contains one rtive field one green ately 180 sqm and one wiming pool. 22 swiming pools and d volleyball courts.

space

oticeable green space: of 30 m thick and 775 y 23 ha is hosting urban banches and children

f 8 ha hosting statue from the y

uilding

main housing typologies/ In 29 housing fully built. pe building hape building

hape building

e

in the North and South the R-4and A-4 linking Madrid. avenue of four ways is fferent blocs. bands delivering all the le way. d inside the housing

41


KILAMBA

3.1.2 - Kilamba Kiaxi landuse map

67%

16%

Housing

11%

3% 3%

Green Space Public Facilities Comercial

a) Proportion between the initial landuse statut programed in Kilamba

Office

100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Green Space

Housing

Public Facilities

Office

Comercial

b) Proportion of area developed and undeveloped for each landuse statut

45%

Area developed

55%

Area undeveloped

c) Proportion between area built and area unbuilt of the city

ÂŤComercialÂť represent the proportion of every urban block with a comercial landuse *

42


N

Landuse Map Kilamba Kiaxi 1 km

Developed Undeveloped Green public space Housing Industry Public Facilities Comercial

43


Active city landmark Several main noticeable buildings are supposed to frame the principal green spine. However, they are not built yet.

Activity inside block Every block countain a green space of 35 ha and a semiprivate sportive field. They are open to the public after the school to which they belong are closed. It exist two size of sportive field. There are 5 of 80 m and 8 of 120 m long stadium sportive field.

Public green space There is one central green spine of 105 m thickness and 1720m long. It hostes urban furniture such as banches, child playground and also buildings with two churches underconstruction.

Modular building There are four different heigts of a same housing typology, the module is repeated in a total of 710 times. -410 of 6 floors -206 of 8 floors-34 of 12 floors -60 of 18 floors

Infrastructure The highways connect the East and West part of the city to the express way. The express way link the coast side of Luanda named Benifica Cacuaco and the north side named Golfe Camama. The main way crossing the city from East to West has six ways . Roads of four ways deliver the different housing blocs and the roads of two lines deliver the different buildings inside the bloc.

44


dmark

eable buildings are the principal green y are not built yet.

block

n a green space of 35 e sportive field. They lic after the school to re closed. It exist two . There are 5 of 80 m ng stadium sportive

pace

green spine of 105 m 0m long. It hostes h as banches, child o buildings with two truction.

ng

erent heigts of a same he module is repeated in

e

nect the East and West the express way. The e coast side of Luanda acuaco and the north Camama. sing the city from East ys . Roads of four ways nt housing blocs and wo lines deliver the inside the bloc.

45


KANGBASHI

3.1.3 - Ordos Kangbashi landuse map

37%

36%

Housing

8%

Green Space

8%

5% 4%

Public Facilities

a) Proportion between the initial landuse statut programed in Kangbashi

Comercial Office Industry

100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Green Space

Housing

Public Facilities

Industry

b) Proportion of area developed and undeveloped for each landuse statut

50%

Area developed

50%

Area undeveloped

c) Proportion between area built and area unbuilt of the city

ÂŤComercialÂť represent the proportion of every urban block with a comercial landuse *

46

Comercial

Office


47


48


N

Landuse Map Ordos Kangbashi 1 km

Developed Undeveloped Green public space Housing Industry Public Facilities Comercial

26 49


Active city landmark a - Governemental buidings b - Museum and Libraryc- Cinema and Cultural Center d- Food plaza and Comercial mall e- The biggest foutain of East Asia working the summer with corfull lightshow during the night.

Activity inside block Half of the housing block coutain leisure area. The size of it is approximately 200 sqm for a block of 64 000sqm. The leisure furniture consiste in pagota, fountain that are not working, banch and individual fitness machines.

Public green space -A central green spine of 300m by 2500m (74,2 ha) divided in different theme park such as the statue parc or the sun park. -A Water front green space large of 250m and making in total 600 ha well furnished by different kind of trees and urban funiture including children playground. -Two parks of 22ha and 63ha -a big planted area is situated in the north of the city in order to protect it from the sandstorm everyemployee of Kangbashi have to plant 5 trees per year in this area of 1000 ha.

Modular building Each developers develope it’s own typology of housing in a same module. It mean that it’s possible to recognize the block that have been built by the same developers because they will have the same architectural type. The buildings will look like the same but will probably have different heights. There is a total of 1588 housing building: - 403 individual houses of two or three floors.-770 buildings of four to eight floors -220 buildings of 10 to 14 floors -195 towers of 20 to 24 floors

Infrastructure The highways of 12 lines connect in the North East of the city to Dongsheng and in the South West to Ejin Horo. The numbers of line of the ways delivering the housing blocks are from six minimum to 10 lines maximum. The roads inside the block are double or single line.

50

27


andmark

al buidings Library ultural Center d Comercial mall foutain of East Asia summer with corfull g the night.

a c d b e

de block

ng block coutain leisure it is approximately 200 64 000sqm. The leisure e in pagota, fountain working, banch and machines.

e

spine of 300m by 2500m in different theme park e parc or the sun park. een space large of 250m tal 600 ha well furnished d of trees and urban g children playground. ha and 63ha area is situated in the y in order to protect it orm everyemployee of to plant 5 trees per year 00 ha .

lding

s develope it’s own ng in a same module. It ssible to recognize the been built by the same use they will have the al type. The buildings same but will probably ights. There is a total of lding: houses of two or three

four to eight floors 10 to 14 floors to 24 floors

e

12 lines connect in the city to Dongsheng and to Ejin Horo. of line of the ways ousing blocks are from 0 lines maximum. he block are double or

51


Pict 16: Sesena El Quinon, Spain Source: www.idealista.com ,Piso en venta en francisco de goya, 23, El Quiñón, Seseña, April 27th, 2016

Pict 17: Kilamba, Angola Source: www.wikipedia.com

52

Pict 18: Ordos Kangabshi, Ordos Source: Personal Photo Eva Garcia, September 2nd, 2015.


3.2 - Micro zoom

53


3.2.2 - Typical urban block analyse of Sesena Nueva case study SESENA SESENA a) Proportion a) Proportion of the of the block block

Proportion Proportion of the of constructible the constructible plot inplot the in urban the urban block:block: 13% 13% 13% 13%

74% 74%

Constructible Constructible plot area plot area

Circulation Circulation area area GreenGreen publicpublic area area

Program Program occupation occupation insideinside the constructible the constructible plot plot 47% 47%

34% 34%

Pedestrian Pedestrian circulation circulation

12% 12%7%

7%

Buildings’ Buildings’ footprint footprintGreenGreen Area Equipment Area Equipment

Parking Parking place is place underground is underground * *

b) Relation b) Relation to the to the roadroad

GatedGated Comunity Comunity

Yes

No

Continuous Continuous borderborder along along the the road: road:

Buildings Buildings

Yes

No

FencesFences

No border No border

3,5 m3,5 m

Side walk Sidethickness: walk thickness: Guarded Guarded block block 24/24h: 24/24h:

Yes

No

Opening Opening time to time public: to public:

full time full time

Yes

No

Half-time Half-time

Not to open the public Not open theto public

c) Building c) Building description description

Distribution Distribution of the of heights the heights on on the plot: the plot:

heights of buildings the block same block Same Same heights of buildings in the in same

Same Same modular modular building building repeated: repeated:

Yes

Yes

No

No

Yes butdifferent with different Yes but with heights heights

Typology Typology existing existing on theon plot: the plot:

Number Number x2

54

x2

building building shapeshape

floors floors

apartment apartment

U Shape U Shape

7 floors 7 floors

in each in each


55


3.2.3 - Typical urban block analyse of Kilamba Kiaxi case study KILAMBA a) Proportion of the block KILAMBA Proportion of the constructible plot in the urban block:

a) Proportion of the block

19%

77%

5%

Proportion of the constructible plot in the urban block: 19%

77%

5% Green public area

Constructible plot area

Circulation area Program occupation inside the constructible plot 46%

18%

16%

13%

7%

Green public area

Constructible plot area

Circulation area Program occupation inside the constructible plot 46%

18% Pedestrian and Car circulation

16%

13% 7% Green Area Buildings’ footprint Parking Equipment

Parking place is underground *

Pedestrian and Car circulation

Buildings’ footprint b) Relation toGreen theArea road

Parking Equipment

Parking place is underground * Gated Comunity

Yes

No

Continuous border along the road:

Buildings

Fences

b) Relation to the road

Side walk thickness: Yes

Gated Comunity

No

Guarded block 24/24h: Buildings Continuous border along the road: Side walk thickness:

Fences

m Yes

full time

Opening time public: 5 to m Yes

Guarded block 24/24h: Opening time to public:

5

No border

No No border Half-time

Not open to the public

No

c) Building description full time

Half-time

Not open to the public

Distribution of the heights on

the plot: c) Building description

Distribution of the heights on the plot: More the building is sutated in the center of the plot taller it is

Yes

Same modular building repeated:

No

Yes but with different heights

More the building is sutated in the center of the plot taller it is Typology existing on the plot: Same modular building repeated:

56

Yes Number

x16 x8 Typology existing on the plot: x2 Number

Building shape

Building shape

No

Yes but with different heights Floors

Apartment

« Plot » Shape «High Plot» Shape Small tower shape

6 floors 10 floors 14 floors

in each in each in each

Floors

Apartment


57


3.2.4 - Typical urban block analyse of Ordos Kangbashi case study

KANGABASHI a) Proportion of the block KANGABASHI

Proportion of the constructible plot in the urban block: 20%

74%

a) Proportion of the block

6%

Proportion of the constructible plot in the urban block: Constructible plot20% area

74%

6%

Green public area Circulation area

Program occupation inside the constructible plot 60%

16%

15%

5% 4%

Green public area

Constructible plot area

Circulation area Program occupation inside the constructible plot Pedestrian and Car circulation 16% 15%

60%

footprint Parking Green Area 5% Buildings’ 4% Equipment

Parking place is underground *

b) Relation toBuildings’ the road footprint

Pedestrian and Car circulation

Parking Green Area Equipment

Parking place is underground *

b) Relation to the road

Gated Comunity

Yes

No

Continuous border along the road:

Buildings

Fences

5

Side walk thickness:

m

Gated Comunity

No Yes Guarded block 24/24h:

Yes

No

Continuous border along the road:

Buildings Fences Opening time to public:

No border full time

Half-time

Side walk thickness:

5

Guarded block 24/24h:

c) Building description

Opening time to public:

c) Building description

No border

Not open to the public

m Yes

No

full time

Half-time

Not open to the public

Distribution of the heights on the plot:

Distribution of the heights on the plot:

More the building is situated in the Northest border of the plot taller it is

Yes

Same modular building repeated:

No

Yes but with different heights

More the building is situated in the Northest border of the plot taller it is Housing typology existing on the plot: Yes Number

Same modular building repeated:

58

No Yes but withFloors different Building shape heights Individual housing 2 floors «barre de logement» 6-8 floors Small tower 10-14 floors

x6 x8 x2

Housing typology existing on the plot: Number

Building shape

Floors

Apartment

Apartment 1 family can live in each in each


59


Pict 19: Sesena El Quinon, Spain Source: Personal picture, Carla Hajjar, June 10th, 2015.

Pict 20: Kilamba, Angola Source:Personal Picture, Carla Hajjar, August 25th, 2015.

60

Pict 21: Ordos Kangabshi, Ordos Source: Personal Photo Carla Hajjar, April 08th, 2015.


3.3 - Nano zoom

61


Balcony View The old Sesena in terms of housing is essentially composed of individual or shared houses of maximum 3 floors with a garden and sometimes swimming pools. The new Sesena built by Francisco Hernando is composed of apartments with balcony oriented on green spaces or water places. For a typical T3 apartment of approximately 75 m2, there is a balcony of 15m2. This balcony will be opened onto the private green park of the block or onto the farming land of the surrounding.

Underground parking The new Sesena’s parking was the first underground one in the local community. Indeed, each apartment bought comes with a large underground parking plot. The underground parking is a safe place to park thanks to its automatic door, numerous alarms, security cameras at the exit and one garden per block in charge of its supervision. The parking lot measures from 3 to 5m. If the tenant doesn’t want it, he can rent it for 46 $ per month or sells it for approximately 9 160$.

Pict 23: Underground parking of Sesena - Source: www.idealista.com Piso en venta en El Quiñón, Seseña April 29th,2016.

Classy entrance hall The entrance hall of each building in the new Sesena looks luxurious compared to the entrance hall of dwellings in the periphery of Madrid. The floor tiles are done with black stoneware that has been polished in order to give a marble look. The cream color tiles wall are framing a grey marble band where are situated all the mail box. The stairs with a glass handrail as well as the 6 persons elevator in aluminium are both elegant. These elements show the importance of having a high standard housing complex from an exterior point of view.

Equipment and Kitchen All apartments are sold with already basic furniture in it such as in the kitchen the oven, gas cooker, kitchen hood, double sink tray and granite work plan. The brand of the different element is medium or high standard on the Spanish market. The kitchen is always linked to the balcony. This room is not designed to host a dining table. The dining table will commonly be situated in the living room typical of medium and high standard apartment in Spain.

62

Group b: T3 Apartment in Sesena Source : www.idealista.com, Piso en venta en calle Tiziano s/n, El Quiñón, Seseña, April 1st, 2016.


Pict 22: Location Appartement T3 View from the 7th floor. Centralisation de Kilamba-Source:www.idealista.com Piso en venta en francisco de goya, 23, El Quiñón, Seseña,April 17th, 2016.

Same area for different apartments The new Sesena, at the opposite of the other study cases, proposes for one same area at least three different apartments. Each proposition is situated in a different location of the building taking advantages of multiples views and spatial design. For example, a T3 can be arranged in two master bedroom with a shared living room and kitchenette, or a typical apartment for a 4 members family with a different option on the balcony and kitchen placement.

Group a: Type of Apartement in Sesena - Source: www.idealista.com

Pict 24: Entrance hall of el Quinon Source: www.idealista.com Piso en venta en El Quiñón, Seseña, April 29th, 2016.

Construction quality Unlike many developments built in Spain during the 1990s and early 2000s, the architect did not stint on quality here again. The living room and bedrooms of the apartment have real wood flooring. The concrete walls are isolating from the noise and the temperature. Moreover, the windows are double glazing windows. there is already an electric hitter system installed in each room. The exterior walls are covered by red bricks. The reason of this quality could be explained by the fact that the developer is a self-made man, he was before being rich a simple plumber. For this reason, he paid a particular attention and choose by himself every construction material.

63


Open-plan kitchen Cooking at home is current in Angolan culture. The kitchen occupy an important place in the traditional housing. It is the room where all the women of the house meet at meal cooking time and prepare the meal together. It term of architecture it is usually a place isolated and which can be closed from the other one in order to not let the noise and smell crossed the dwelling. In Kilamba the kitchen from the T2 and T3 apartment are « Open-plan kitchen  ». It suggests a new way of life more « Western » oriented.

Circulation in periphery The kitchen and the bedrooms are link by a circulation in periphery of the apartment. It implies indirect light for these rooms. This open corridor offers an kind of « outside place  » for these apartments without balcony. It is fresh in winter and block the direct hit of the sun in summer. This clever configuration regulates the indoor climate and presents a new way of conceive 14th high dwellings in Angola.

Living Room The living room are not as big as traditional Angolan living room. Its size and orientation are following Chinese fengshui rules. In fact the 44 blocks are occupied by North-South oriented building. Moreover all the main door are directly open to the living room. Fengshui rules says that homes or buildings that have a clearly defined main door have the best potential for enjoying continuous good fortune. Homes that lack this have an uncertain and unstable flow of chi, thereby creating uncertain luck.

Construction Quality The construction quality correspond officially to the Chinese construction standards. The project was awarded “LuBan Award”, the Chinese highest honor of construction project in terms of quality, and nominated by “Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize”. In order to solve the problem of building materials, CITIC construction group invested and constructed 14 building material factories such as brick Factory, Sand Pits Factory, Paint Factory, Doors and Windows Factory and Prefabricated Part Factory. However, as shown in the pictures, the few years without occupants have left some sequels on the painting.

64


State of the art equipment Cooking on electric hob is not common in Angola. The local culture had always used gas cooker or gas stove. The fact of installing electric one with kitchen hood is revolutionary and marks anew way of cooking with modern instrument. In addition to diamonds and iron ore, Angola is also rich in several other mineral resources that had not been fully exploited by the early twenty- first century such as the granit. Using Angola new ressource, all the kitchen and some bathroom are granit furnished.

Water System Each bathroom is directly link to an underground sewage treatment plant of 45000t/d stock under the primary & secondary municipal roads of Kilamba Kiaxi. The city contains also and a water treatment plan of 35000t/d. The sewage treatment plant and the water treatment plant are independent of Luanda’s one. It is the first fully independent working sewage system of a Luanda’s satellite town. The data are coming from the official speech of Hong Bo the Assistant president of CITIC construction group in Kilamba Kiaxi, may 2014.

Security Blocks have no fences. Just a code is allowing the resident of Kilamba Kiaxi to access to their building. Originally there was only one door separating the shared circulation space of the building from the private appartement. However Angolan are aware about the high risk of robbery and crimes. As a consequence, new residents are placing a second security door in there apartment. Indeed, a majority of the pictures available on internet showing apartment to rent in Kilamba Kiaxi shows also second metallic main door installed.

Group c: Location T3 Centralisation de Kilamba-Source:www.olx.com April 25th,2016.

Innovative connection Beyond the normal municipal systems such as water supply, power supply, telecommunications, sewage, drainage, traffic signals, the original development plans entailed the integration of electronic systems to enable an Internet interconnectivity of housing and municipal systems. It’s a innovative action for Angola communication system. Nevertheless, the electric installation still esthetically non-solved in specific case such as this pictures.

Group d: Visual Proof of shoddy construction work at KilambaSource: www.skyscrapercity.com from BlackLion, July 23rd, 2012.

65


Construction advertisement The Developers in China sell raw state apartments . It means that the apartments have no floor, no painting on the wall and contain just the basic windows. Then if the future owner is interested the developer company will recommend him differents societies of construction to complete and give the final « touch » . The price of this methods cost approximately 310$ per square meters more than the initial price. The future owner can choose this option or another one. The second option is to give the final touch by himself. In this case, he would have to contact different worker and the price will depend on how much the want to invest in it. That is why, in the buildings where a majority of apartment still empty, the elevators and common spaces are tagged by workers’ number, advertisement or even apartment already furnished and looking for a tenant.

Same apartment in different area The first picture is taken in the Northeast part of Ordos Kangbashi. The second picture is taken in the Southwest part of the same city. Approximately 3.5 kilometers separate them. However, the architecture style of this building is identical from the interior as if it was the same building replicated. Nevertheless, it was interesting to see how different families invest the same space and how they appropriate it. The easiest way to count how many apartment are inhabited from the exterior is to count how many Chinese red paper cut stickers, named « Chuang hua », are sticks on the buildings windows. In fact for the summer festival, the tradition want that the tenant of the house sticks such as in the second picture in order to bring good luck and avoidance of evil spirit into the house.

Group e: Inside housing pictures Source: Personal pictures, Carla Marie Hajjar, April 3rd,2016.

Illusive facade From outside, the buildings look like entirely finished and inhabited. The ground floor is imposing a majestic entrance of more than five meters high in a Greco-antique style. There is usually a difference between the impressive exterior and the interior of the newest building of Kangbashi. As described before, inside the buildings most of the empty apartments have no finishes, the common space is tagged of advertisement and the common space is not always entertain. Nevertheless, each apartment furnished is different and hide new surprises.

66

Pict 26: «Bling bling» facade in Ordos Kangbashi Source: Personal picture, Carla Marie Hajjar, September 2nd, 2015.


Pict 25: New building ? Source: Personal pictures, Carla Marie Hajjar, September 2nd, 2015.

Quality of construction The quality of construction in Ordos Kangbashi is not uniform. At the opposite of the others case studies, it’s not only one developer or one society of construction that is in charge of the whole city. Every different compound is usually built by different developers, so the quality depends on the compound the future tenant will choose. For this reason is always good to visit different compound and go behind the street facade. The pictures shows the common space of a building in Kangbashi. The common space is always a good indicative of the quality of the building.

Pict 26: Building’s common Space in Ordos Kangbashi Source: Personal picture, Carla Marie Hajjar, April 3rd,2016.

No Constructed frontage At the opposite of the old Ordos town, the border of the plot is rarely built. The limit is marked usually with simple fences or concrete wall finished in a hurry like in the picture. The pedestrian without any street interaction, excepting passing cars and inert border, has no pleasure in walking along the housing block of Ordos Kangbashi. Contrary to Kangbashi, Ordos old town activated its sidewalk by bordering them with buildings. These buildings are no more than three or four floors and host numerous commercial places in their ground floor and housing or office program in their upper ones.

Pict 27: No constructed frontage for dwellings’ blocks in Ordos Kangbashi Source: Personal picture, Carla Marie Hajjar, September 2nd, 2015.

67


68


Chapter 4- Medication A

fter observing the physical situation of the three coma cities, the third part sheds light on

the psychological trauma and which operations have been done to stimulate these cities. It first described the social environment’s reaction facing the empty cities and explains why nobody chose to directly move in. Then, it gives several example of actions commanded by the politics in order to attract inhabitants. These actions work as a treatment trying to wake up the cities in their coma. The effects of specific treatments are positive, for instance one of the three cities in observation is nowadays out of its coma. This last part therefore summarizes the lessons learned and provides a set of recommendation for actions to revitalize coma cities.

69


4.1-Incompatible Communication A

coma state is characterized by a partial or a total incompatible communication

and social exchange between the unconscious body and his surrounding environment. A coma city is in this analogy a body with difficulties to answer to the social needs surrounding it. This complicated communication exchange isolates the coma city in its own spatial-temporal world. Sesena in Spain seems to be an urban neighborhood in the middle of nowhere. Nick Paumgarten in his article « hangover » described it as « a touch of Dubai on the plains of Don Quixote »32. This city is surrounded by an industrial zone and farm land. It is situated about 45 minutes outside of Madrid. Its first phase of construction has been

in RMB

56,998

60,000 50,000

delivered right when Spain’s speculative real estate bubble was exploding. At that time, unemployment jumped from 10 to 20 percent in less than two years and rose

32 Paumgarten, Nick, «The Hangover», in the New Yorker, February 25th, 2013.

40,000

until it reached more than 27 percent in 201233 . As seen before in the physical check-

30,000

up, the size and the style of the apartment were targeting middle class young couple

20,000

16,680

9,227 33 Boesler, Matthew, «The Worst 5,577 Unemployment Crisis In Modern 2,007 1,024 History Is Unfolding Right Now » in 0 Photographer Jewellery Wedding Celebration Renovation Household Businessdresses Insider Articles, May 6th, of the new flat appliances 2013.. Wedding Consumption Patterns

and young families’ needs. However at the same time, among citizens aged twenty-

10,000

7,610

five and under the jobless rate was higher than 50 percent. Because at that time, if

3,484

Furniture

an employer wanted to lay off one of his employees, it was supposed to pay thirty-

Ceremony

three days of severance for every year of employment, so « the young ones were the

Source : Shanghai Trade Association

one to got fired first »34. This created an epidemic eviction, as people lost their jobs, it

34 Ibid.

was impossible for them to keep reimbursing with their mortgages. Spain is a young

Percentage of unemployment

democracy: its constitution is thirty-five years old which deepen for a speculative real

Spain all ages

60%

Spain under 25 years old

estate bubble.

50% 40%

Ordos Kangbashi is an oasis of the 21st-century glamor. It is a brand new town build

30%

around an artificial water body in the Mongolian desert. It is connected to the historical

20%

center of Dongsheng by a ride of 30 minute-long car ride. According to Tom Millers’s

10%

ideas, Ordos has two major social targets. The first one was to house the municipality growing urban population. The second was to encourage locals to spend their money 2004

70

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009 2010 2011

Soaring youth unemployement un Spain Graph 6 : Soaring youth unemployement un Spain Source : Eurostat Source : Eurostat

2012

at home in buying land and increasing land use property. These two goals were


reached. When the local farmers sold their land to the miners, they became instantly rich. Jobs burgeoned in the city and the majority of them moved to Ordos fulfilling their new urban dreams. However they chose to live in Dongcheng the old city, joining friends and parents already there. Indeed, some bought new apartments in Ordos Kangbashi but most of them didn’t move in. Many Chinese people buy new properties for future use 35 : homes for their children to

35 Shepard Wade, Ghost Cities of China, the story of cities without people in the wirld’s most populated country, Zed Book, London 2015,p178.

live in when they get married, or as a retirement home for themselves or their parents. There are 13 million weddings per year in China, and newlyweds make up one third of all new home purchases36. Many of these homes are purchased far in advance of their actual need and their interior design is not finished yet. Wade Shepard explains that

36 Source: Statista, Number of registered marriages in China from 2004 to 2014 (in millions).

there is no profit for renting their empty apartment « the cost of housing is incredibly high, rental yield is strikingly low at 1 to 1.5 per cent. Thus the amount of money a landlord can make renting out an apartment for a year is hardly even a hundredth of the property’s initial cost. (…) in addition to this, fitting out the interior of an apartment immediately lowers its market value. » . Furthermore, few law protects and assures the

in RMB in RMB in RMB

56,998

60,000 60,000 60,000

tenant from his statue right. That’s why, it is far more safe to be an owner than a tenant.

56,998 56,998

50,000 50,000 50,000

Indeed, an investor who wants to invest or develop land or property in China must

40,000 40,000 40,000

bear in mind China’s property laws, most notably the property law introduced in 2007, which for the first time protects the interest of private investors to the same extent it

30,000 30,000

30,000

20,000 20,000

16,680

20,000

10,000 10,000 3,484 10,000

0

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9,227 5,577 3,484

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5,577 2,007 5,577

2,007 1,024

9,227

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does protect national interests. To be an owner of land use is a title accessible by every

16,680

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7,610

Chinese citizen only since thirty five years in China.

7,610

1,024

2,007 Celebration Wedding Photographer Jewellery Celebration Household Household Ceremony Ceremony Photographer Jewellery Wedding Furniture Furniture Renovation 1,024 Renovation dresses of the new flat of the new flat appliances dresses appliances

0

Photographer Jewellery Wedding Celebration Renovation Household Furniture Wedding Consumption Patterns of the new flat appliances Weddingdresses Consumption Patterns Source Trade : Shanghai Trade Association Source : Shanghai Association

Ceremony

What is memorable in the Kilamba project is how much of nonsense it is in terms of

Wedding Consumption Patterns Source : Shanghai Trade Association

Graph 7 : Wedding Consumption Patterns 2015 Source : Shanghai Trade Association

architecture. China answered to the rapid need of housing by a mass production of what it has been called « Chinese box ». A blanch copy of Feng shui building with their

Percentage of unemployment Percentage of unemployment 60%

Spain all ages Spain all ages

50% 50% 60%

Spain all ages

60%

north-south orientation and Chinese compound model ‘xiaoqu’. All building have the

Spain under Spain under 25 years old25 years old Percentage of unemployment

same design and the same features: yellow plastered facades, steel windows, piched

Spain under 25 years old

40% 40% 50%

roofs. Kilamba is a decontextualization of a Chinese generic city. Michel Hulshof

30%

mentioned in his article « The whole area evokes the feeling of an urban society in

20%

developmental upheaval-the same feeling you get on the fringe of a Chinese city. You

10%

could easily get the impression that the urban future of Africa is being determined

30% 20% 10%

40% 30% 20%

in Shanghai and Beijing rather than Nairobi or Luanda »37 . Moreover of their physical

37 2005 Hulshof, Michel, 2006 2007 2008 2009 2011 2010 2011 2005 2006 2007 2008“Chinese 2009 box”,in 2010 2012 2012 10% 2004 2004 Mark N49, April-May, 2014 ,p141-142.

appearance, the apartments of Kilamba are being advertised online costing between

youth unemployement un Spain SoaringSoaring youth unemployement un Spain : Eurostat Source Source : Eurostat

38 Redvers, Louise, BBC News,Ango2004la, 32005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 july 2012. Soaring youth unemployement un Spain Source : Eurostat

Median Percentage Percentage of population age category Median of population per ageper category Income Income

32 $32 $ per monthper month

Median Income

61 $61 $ per monthper month

32 $ 70 $70 $ per month

per month per month

49$$ 4961 $month per per month per month

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49 $ per month

Underold 25 years old 67% Under67% 25 years

2012

$120,000 and $200,000. Two-thirds of Angolans live on less than $2 per day38 .The third left has, like every Angolan at the ends of the first phase of construction, no access to mortgage. Even if some could have afforded directly to the housing selling price, they would have preferred in to stay in the animated city center located 30 km away.

Percentage of population per age category 22%25 Between andold 44 years old 22% Between and 44 25 years

67% Under 25 years old

9%45 Between andold 64 years old 9% Between and 64 45 years

22% Between 25 and 44 years old

2%45 Between andold 64 years old 2% Between and 64 45 years

Graph 9% 8: Median salary per age category in Angola Between 45 and 64 years old Source: Done using the United Nation data 2015. 2% Between 45 and 64 years old

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4.2 - Treatment A treatment is a medical care given to a patient. A coma state implies an artificial supply of energy from the exterior in order to maintain the body alive. In comparison, the administration to which the coma cities are belonging to are insuring the city basic survival. In fact, the administration finances for instance the green space maintenance, controls the good functioning of traffic light and ensures a continuous police surveillance. When every Coma Cities have been created, the real estate developer was establishing all the new infrastructure such as the roads and the lighting and the city’s administration was in charge of the service supply such as road maintenance and lightings’ ignition. In addition to Coma City external treatments, there are internal treatments. The genotype can mute and modify its code in reaction with the environment. Such modifications directly influence the coma phenotype. Following the analogy, up to certain indeterminate time, the political system in reaction to the environment can choose to change and make its code evolve in order to stimulate the vitalization of the city. In order to solve the Residential Francisco Hernando case in Sesena two actions have been operated. The first one has been done at the administration level. The Mayor Juan Carlos Velasquez refused to sign, contrary to his predecessor, the construction permit 39 Paumgarten, Nick, «The Hangover», in the New Yorker, February 25th, 2013

for the pursuit of the construction. The Article « the Hangover »39 reports that Velázquez had meetings with Hernando’s company. « “The developer wants to finish it,” he said. “The problem right now is that the water is guaranteed only for the existing units. If he wants to build, he has to do the work to supply the water.” ». Indeed, the actual mayor will not sign the construction permit if the developer Francisco Hernando doesn’t finance through his company the additional pipe system. The second action is at the economic level. Banco Santander, the largest bank in Spain, and its real-estate arm, Altamira, in spring 2013, started selling its units at a fraction of the cost of the loans on its balance

LAWER PRICES

sheet. The idea was to recoup something rather than hold on to the inventory. The price

50%

dropped to 50 percent of their original prices. Two-bedroom homes have been had for 65,000 Euro, or rented for 360 Euro a month with an option to buy. And the bank offers

40 The Economist, « Trickling in » in The Economist Newspaper Limited, Jun 16th, 2012.

100% financing for 40 years40 . Santander has almost shifted the 580 apartments in the block it has on its hands. This forced the other banks to lower their prices. The banks, in their desperate state to monetize these encumbrances, had found a clearing price. Three operations have been applied to Ordos. First the political system obliges the local administration to move in the new governmental building. This first move has the objective to create new fluxes of circulation inside and stimulate the local administration officials to move in with their family. The second operation consists in opening two major universities with campuses and several new schools

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in the new city. The opening of different education poles has the goal to encourage -ADMINISTARTION -EDUCATION -LOWER PRICE

students to consume products and stay in Ordos Kangbashi during their available time. Moreover, the city renown could change and become a famous place for higher education, attracting well known researchers and foreign students. The third action targets the renting and sold price such as in Sesena. The political system ordered to lower the rent of the housing. However they also applied a special rule for the commercial place. In his book Ghost cities, Wade Shepard gives the example of McDonald`s presents in the big central mall. This famous international fast food chain doesn’t need to pay a rent. The Administration is financing it. Indeed, the city assures in this way the McDonald`s presents and can be considered by the locals as a modern city with foreign restaurant company.

-EDUCATION -LOWER PRICE -MORTGAGE

In the Kilamba case, the political system tried, such as in Ordos Kangbashi, to operate at the education level. The minister of urbanization and construction, Fernando Fonseca, organized an important event for the school inauguration. The schools were inaugurated and opened for the academic year in early 2011. Two libraries and the chemistry laboratory were expected to start in 2012. The budget was about 190 million US dollars which was earmarked for its construction. Then, two years after, a second treatment similar to the two other coma cities has been prescribed. The real estate company lowered their price. When the smallest unit (T3) dropped in price from US$125,000 to US$70,000, Kilamba suddenly became Luanda’s most accessible property market of 2015. Furthermore in July 2015, the political system allowed the entire Angolan population to have access to mortgages. As a reminder, in Angola the democratic system and its constitution exist since 23 years.

4.3 - Direct and secondary effect

F

ollowing the Oxford dictionary, an effect is « the conscious subjective aspect of an

41 Source: www.oxforddictionaries. com

emotion considered apart from bodily changes »41 . Bodily changes is the direct effect of a treatment, the secondary effect is what the changes procure later to the conscious of the organism. In this direction a coma city has two different kind of effects. The first one is the effect on physical aspect and the second one is the reaction facing the physical result. Spanish newspapers headlined with stories on how, for 65,000 Euro for a two-bedroom apartment measuring 94 square meters, the bank was “giving away” homes from Sesena because the materials alone cost 60,000 Euro. Pedro Torres, aged 60 and also

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a security guard, moved into one of the Santander apartments in 2013. He has been interviewed and said “I used to work in construction, so I can tell that the quality is good, we have two bedrooms and two bathrooms, wooden floors and a huge shared swimming pool for less than €70,000 cash (cf picture 28). It would have cost €100,000 more in a town nearer Madrid.” Lydia Carrasco, a mother of two and one year’s old child, was doing her Saturday market stalls on the edge of the complex. When the same journalist interviewed her “We live in the Banco de Santander building, and Pict 28: Residential Francisco Hernando, Seseña, Spain 
Source: www.designaspolitics.nl, Failed Utopia , September 10th, 2013.

we’re delighted with it,” she says, sheltering under an awning from the dead heat of the afternoon. “The materials used are of the highest quality, and we got it for much less than half price. And the bank gave us 100 per cent financing. There was a queue all through the night to get the apartments. We were very lucky,” says Carrasco, who works for the rail network. Sergio Martín, a father of three young girls, says there are now 700 children attending the on-site primary school (cf picture 29). “It’s ideal, it’s very close, and there are now lots of children here in the community,” he says. For the most part, the new buyers were immigrants. There’s a teeming elementary school, but no high school. In winter, the place is windy and cold, but in summer

Pict 29: La hora de la entrada en el colegio público Los Quiñones Source: Personal picture, Moeh Atitar, December 6th, 2015.February 25th, 2016. 42 Source: www.ayto-sesena.org

it is pleasant and people from the city rented apartments for a month. The population of Seseña had more than quintupled since 2000. The town hall wrote in her official website that 83 per cent of the residents were born somewhere else42. Children splash in the pool and play on a small football pitch inside the shared central gardens, but Mr Torres says that the place is lifeless; many of the flats being sold are bought as knock-down investments. Shop fronts are bricked up,

43 The Economist, « Trickling in » in The Economist Newspaper Limited, Jun 16th, 2012.

and all the bars and cafeterias are far off on the other side of the development.43 To sum up, the effect of lowering the price as attracted new buyers and new inhabitants has worked. People are buying. Secondary, the new inhabitants are satisfied about their apartments, they criticized the apartment sold but not inhabited, the homogeneous program repartition and the bad public connection to the cities surroundings. However, the complex Francisco Hernando has just his first phase built. The second project phase is supposed to address these gaps. The continuation of the construction is frozen by the relation between the actual mayor and the developer firm Onde 2000. Negotiations are from now suspended and the coma state is continuing. Ordos has actually a campaign underway to occupy the city. The Chinese government are giving people from the whole region, and Ordos is bigger than Switzerland, incentives to move to the city, forcing them either by moving schools, hospitals, or other public facilities into the new city. Even if this treatment can be seen as «

44 Filmmakers and co-producer Adam James Smith, Song Ting, Qihan Wang, « The Land of Many Palaces », January 30th, 2015.

A social engineering », the locals seem really happy about that. The movie Land of Many Palace44 is a documentary film relating this fact (cf picture 30), « The film explores a process that will take shape on an enormous scale across China, since

45 Smith Adam James « ‘Re-education’ campaigns teach China’s new ghost city-dwellers how to behave » in The guardian, November 6th, 2014

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the central government announced plans to relocate 250,000,000 farmers to cities across the nation, over the next 20 years »45 . It followed two main characters. The first one is Yuan Xiaomei, a young government official who is responsible for the


relocation of farmers into the new city. Once there, she educates the new migrants and helps them adapt to urban life (cf picture 31). The second character is The Han Shiwen. He is the last farmer holding out and still working the land. His son’s family has relocated and he is feeling the pressure to join them. Basically the new inhabitants have gone from being pretty poor to being quite wealthy, and they have opened bank accounts, purchased villas, they have got money in the bank for the first time in their life. For instance they could withdraw the money that they’ve been given with their Pict 30: The Land Of Many Palaces: China is undertaking the largest migration of people in history.- Source: http://www.southcoastnews. co.za February 25th, 2016.

own new bankcard. In an interview, the two documentary filmmakers, Adam James Smith and Song Ting said « when we first went there two years ago, the new city was actually quite empty. When you go there now, it is a lot livelier. It’s a mix of people: people who have been relocated from the greater Ordos region, people who have moved there from the old town, for whatever reason, and other people that are there who moved there in search of new economic opportunities, whether it’s migrant workers in the construction

46 Bilner, eli, « Ordos: A Ghost Town That Isn’t» in the Atlantic, April 8th, 2013

industry, or families from Beijing looking to live in a place with more space and less air pollution»46 . However other characters of the documentary such as a taxi driver came to the city with big hope of pursing his dream to be a self-made man. However he’s been there almost a year now, and he hasn’t really moved forward in achieving his dream of becoming wealthy in the city by getting into the property business. He’s still a taxi driver. He’s trying to decide, at the moment if he should carry on or moving back to Xinjiang, where he spent seven years. To summarize, farmers, migrant workers, families and students are coming slowly and surely to Ordos Kangbashi (accurate numbers will be provided later) as the direct effect of the politic policy to move main public facilities in Ordos Kangbashi. The social action of educating the old farmers to be civilized is fruitful. However even if people

Pict 31: Yuan Xiaomei promoting the perfect citizen behavior Source: http://filmnapok.kek.org.hu Budapest architecture film days, 2016.

are moving not all of them want to stay for an indefinite term. The coma state in no more stable; the body is giving more and more signs of life. However these signs are not decisive. The problem is how to make Ordos a long term pleasant city and how definitely wake up it from its coma. According to the official Angolan news agency, some 40,000 people moved into Kilamba after their families took advantage of long-term, low-cost mortgages possible since the end of 2014. The decision of the mortgage access is the fruit of the collaboration of the status of press, the Office for Revitalizing the Institutional Communication Management (GRECIA) and the Ministry of Social Communications. The mortgages access combined with apartment prices ranging from US$70,000 to US$140,000 has attracted even more buyer. The smallest unit (T3) dropped in price from US$125,000 to US$70,000 and Kilamba suddenly became Luanda’s accessible property market. Hundreds of applicants queued for days outside the offices of SONIP, ( cf picture 32) the real estate arm of Sonangol which had been charged with taking over

Pic 32: Families are queuing for an apartment in Kilamba Source: www.opais.co.ao, Paulo Sérgio, Angústia e desespero afligem ‘esquecidos’ do Kilamba, April 27th, 2015.

from Delta Imobiliária. Demand was so great that SONIP had to suspend transactions, having reportedly sold 18,000 units in Luanda’s “New Centrality of Kilamba”. The news 75 stories


on Kilamba, the «ghost town» mainly date from 2012. It is actually now becoming a thriving town. In July 2015, official news announced that Kilamba was now home to some 80,000 inhabitants. The typical resident is a thirty-year old, welleducated Luandan, employed as a white-collar taxpayer, often raising a young family. Despite criticism of the manner in which the apartments were distributed and of the traffic jams on the road to Luanda, living in Kilamba is now a source of pride. A Facebook group (cf picture 33 ) has been created where there are many posts on a weekly basis about new shop openings, second hand selling clothes or new stores’ arrival advertisement and other news articles publications. The collaboration of the urban team from the GRECIA, the sociologist and politic from the Ministry of Social Communication combined with the citizens and journalist from the press found the remedy of Kilamba. The solution treatment was the access for the Angolan to the mortgages. As if , like in the case of Ordos, with the education of farmers, the solution to wake-up coma cities was a more sensitive sociologic input in the treatment. Data feeding economic and political systems and models are basically missing this Pic 33: Screen shot of Centralidad de Kilamba’s Facebook page, Advertisement for handmade clothes done by one local and new pastry available in Kilamba’s bakery Source: www.facebook.com/groups/Centralidadekilamba, February 12th, 2016.

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contribution from collaboration of urban planners and sociologists in city planning. However simple access to mortgages is also a crucial component of speculative bubble and future Coma city production. Angola should better control the door that was just opened.


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Chapter 5- Conclusion 5.1 - General Conclusion T

his research thesis intended to develop a new definition for what has previously

been coined as a “Coma City”. This term refers to a recent trauma that some new urban development projects have been coping with internationally, when they do not achieve their design occupancy for an extended period of time of several years because of unexpectedly limited population inflows. This research thesis aims at characterizing this urban trauma by drawing a comparative analysis of three case studies from different locations (Spain, China and Angola) and from different scales (El Quinion, Ordos Kangbashi, Kilamba Kiaxi). This conclusion defines common features that these Coma Cities share by addressing the following three main questions: 1. What kind of influence the political and economic environments have on the development of a Coma City? 1.1 The political environment acts like the genotype by influencing the market regulation. The three Coma Cities’ studied are located in countries where reforms were being made in land use regulation led by a relatively immature politic systems that had been in place for typically less than 70 years. 1.2 The economic environment plays the role of the phenotype that can be observed by everyone. In each of the respective three Coma Cities’ case studies, what was noticeable was the unsustainable speculative real estate bubble that resulted from this land use reform. 1.3 The combination of these political and economic environments lead to the Coma City birth, which happens at the inauguration of the new city, when apartments sold fail to reach 15% of what was initially targeted.

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2. What are the physically recognizable symptoms of Coma Cities? 2.1 At the macro level, each Coma City has been designed as an independent cell connected directly to an important existing infrastructure. The study shows that they are conceived to be autonomous in term of programs since they have integrated into their design: housing, green space, public facilities and also offices, commercial and for some of them industry program. They actually stopped their construction at midstage of planned development. 2.2 At the micro level, Coma Cities do have not a specific block size neither do they respond to a same archetype of architecture. The common physical aspect is the use of a same housing building module which is declined in different heights on the same plot. In this way, parcels are homogeneously built by developers and have no particular customized features. 2.3 At the nano level, the quality of construction depends on the developers. The population adapted to the new structure and and added their own cultural personal touch. 3. How their respective environments react to their trauma? 3.1 An incompatible communication between the city expectancy and the needs of the population surrounding leads first to a social rejection. This initial trauma and subsequent rejection themselves exacerbate the coma’s severity. 3.2 Several treatments are applied to politically and economically to animate the city. Firstly the politic operates at the educational level inserting schools and looking for teaching quality recognition. This technique should attract young students and families who want the best education for their children. It is very probable that it would be followed by the implementation of banks and governmental offices. Secondly, the prices per square meter will be or lowered or special promotions can be proposed through media and real estate advertisement. 3.3 Direct and secondary effect of the treatment perturbs the coma state. In general, more and more people are moving in the case studies - as if time plays a fundamental role. For instance, even if in Sesena the situation is frozen by politics the number of inhabitants is increasing. In Ordos, signs of life are appearing, the city is reaching its 50% of occupancy, but the interaction between citizens is still shy. The dynamism of the city is not on a serene constant growth and there is a need for consolidation. Growing better, Kilamba, since July 2015 has reached 75% of its occupancy. Its second phase of construction will begin next year. The intrinsic sensitive nature of this subject matter made collecting the research data collection particularly challenging. The first world map (page x) was done at the beginning of the research and was only found in newspaper articles. When reliable

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information sources were identified, most of the data points were either conflicting


with previously collected data points or not completely covering the subject matter. It has therefore been greatly time consuming to meticulously scrutinize data points for updated, consistent and exhaustive content. What turned out to be the most effective way for data collection was to travel for site visits to Ordos Kangbashi. This really allowed me to witness things first hand and to meet experts locally. It also helped me step back to appreciate the big picture before digging deeper and refocusing again. I believe complementary visits at least to both El Quinon and Kilamba Kiaxi would considerably enrich this research thesis’ content and can be considered as the next steps toward a more comprehensive Ph.D. research thesis. way for data collection was to travel for site visits to Ordos Kangbashi. This really allowed me to witness things first hand and to meet experts locally. It also helped me step back to appreciate the big picture before digging deeper and refocusing again. I believe complementary visits at least to both El Quinon and Kilamba Kiaxi would considerably enrich this research thesis’ content and can be considered as the next steps toward a more comprehensive Ph.D. research thesis. Remembering all the researches, all interviews, and all institutions visited, it is still complicated to conclude with one clear-cut attitude concerning Coma cities. The most evident one is to slow down the rhythm in the process of producing new cities. Ordos Kangbashi spent two years between the first plan issued and the beginning of its construction. To build is one of the most expensive solutions to employ for every given urban problem. Instead of providing a quick and generic solution based on data source, it would be better to take more time in thinking about how to produce a particular kind of consumer product. The unique people behind the constrictions of ghost cities are large organizations or corporations. They are condensing a whole neighborhood in a monolithic generic project, offering large structure that finally citizen can barely afford exactly such as Sesena with its all red bricked new construction in the case of Spain. It comes with this idea to think the future city, not by a few with a lot but by many with a bit. Cities can be developed by the citizen in collaboration with politics and economic. Re-democratize the planning process will facilitate to touch the right target and place human is the world of mass customization than mass consumption. The wake-up of Kilamba ex-coma city has been possible by to the meeting of Locals Association and media with the politics and developers. Moreover, actual technology and communicative forum are nowadays efficient and speed to exchange ideas. Kilamba Facebook group is an animated platform with more than 2650 members updating and posting on the last event. I guess that paragraphs, sections, chapters have probably been skipped, but the most important part of this thesis is to remind you that now a proper definition has been developed for the contemporary, urban, misunderstood terms of « ghost town », «stillborn cities », « modern ruins » or whatever this phenomenon has been called.

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The positive side of having one name is that it will help to group and classify all the existing cases under the same criteria as well as help target and prevent the future ones.

5.1 - Website creation A website about Coma cities has just been created after the publication of this thesis. First, a virtual library will contribute to the regrouping of all types of publications that already exist on this subject from all over the world. Second, it will offer an open discussion platform to exchange ideas,opinions and questions on how to react and which alternatives exist to activate Coma cities. Thirdly, an exhibition part will present some example of project initiative. The first design proposed, is the one on which I am currently working on with the citizens of Ordos Kangbashi. The government is planning to build a street of bars and restaurants to animate the city. The goal is to propose a modular one, which can connect different district. This moveable street will be built by the community. Its goal is to ensure dynamism and preservation of its unique identity and culture, as well as proposing an example of a sustainable action for awakening Coma cities all around the world.

Be the next member !

www.comacities.com Pic 34: Qr Code for www.comacities.com Source: www.comacities.com, June 17th 2016

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Pic 35: Welcome Page of www.comacities.com Source: Carla Hajjar screen shot of www.comacities.com, June 17th 2016

Pic 36: Definition page of www.comacities.com Source: Carla Hajjar screen shot of www.comacities.com/definitions, June 17th 2016

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Pic 37: Forum page of www.comacities.com Source: Carla Hajjar screen shot of www.comacities.com/forum, June 17th 2016

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Pic 38: Log in page of www.comacities.com Source: Carla Hajjar screen shot of www.comacities.com/login, June 17th 2016


Pic 39: Contact page of www.comacities.com Source: Carla Hajjar screen shot of www.comacities.com/forum, June 17th 2016

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6.1 - List of references Chapter 1- Frame of the thesis 1 HULSHOF, Michiel, “Chinese boxes, developers and construction companies from the People’s Republic are building Africa’s mass-housing stock” in Mark N49, April-May 2014, p142-p147. 2 CAEMMERER, Kai, « Unborn Cities » in Photography Series of Ianzhou festival, China, October, 2015. 3 VYSOKOVSKII, Aleksandr, Stillborn environments: The new Soviet town of the 1960s and urban life in Russia today, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 1996. 4 SCHULZ-DORNBURG, Julia, Modern Ruins, a Topography of Profit, Madrid 2012. 5 REDVERS, Louise, « Angola’s Chinese-built ghost town » in BBC News, Kilamba, July 3rd, 2012. 6 BOUTON, Shannon «Unlocking the future: The keys to making cities great»,McKinsey and Company in Article,June 2015. 7 GOVAN, Fiona, « The ghost towns of Spain: Images that are desolate symbols of collapsed property market » in The Telegraph , Madrid, February 16th, 2012. 8 REDVERS, Louise, « Angola’s Chinese-built ghost town » in BBC News, Kilamba, July 3rd, 2012. 9 RICHTER, Darmon, « Welcome To The World’s Largest Ghost City: Ordos, China » in GizModo, March 13th, 2014. 10 HULSHOF, Michel, “Chinese box”,in Mark N49, April-May, 2014 ,p141-142. 11 MARCINKOSK, Christopher, The City that Never Was, December 2015. 12 POIRAUDEAU, Anthony, Projet El Pocero, dans une ville fantôme de la crise espagnole, Paris 2013.

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13 SHEPARD, Wade, Ghost Cities of China, the story of cities without people in the world’s most populated country, London 2015.

Chapter 2- Coma city’s Birth 14 Source: Currency converter of the past, Website www.fxtop.com 15 BOESLER, Matthew, “The worst unemployment crisis in modern history is unfolding right now” in Business Insider, May 6th, 2013. 16 POIRAUDEAU, Anthony, Projet El Pocero, dans une ville fantôme de la crise espagnole, Paris 2013. 17, 18 Shepard Wade, Ghost Cities of China, the story of cities without people in the wirld’s most populated country, Zed Book, London 2015,p26-27. 19 Salidjanova, Nargiza, « China’s New Income Inequality Reform Plan and Implications for Rebalancing » in U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission Staff Research Backgrounder, March 12th, 2013. 20 Source: www.indexmundi.com, Angola Inflation rate 21, 22, 23 Burgis, Tom, « China in Africa: how Sam Pa became the middleman » in FT Magazine, August 8th, 2014. 24 Anne Cheyvialle, “L’économie espagnol à la gueule de bois”, Le Figaro, 28 octobre 2008. 25 Poiraudeau, Anthony, Projet El Pocero, dans une ville fantome de la crise espagnole, Inculte, Paris 2013, p24 26 Shepard Wade, Ghost Cities of China, the story of cities without people in the wirld’s most populated country, Zed Book, London 2015,p33. 27 Anne Stevenson-Yang Anne, conference China 2015 Risks, Deflationary Bust and Beyond , Schmitz Media, China 2013 29 Information Office of the State Council, ‘China-Africa Economic and Trade Co-operation White Paper’, 2013. 30 Poiraudeau, Anthony, Projet El Pocero, dans une ville fantome de la crise espagnole, Inculte, Paris 2013, p56.

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31 Shepard Wade, Ghost Cities of China, the story of cities without people in the world’s most populated country, Zed Book, London 2015,p69.

Chapter 4- Medication 32 Paumgarten, Nick, «The Hangover», in the New Yorker, February 25th, 2013. 33, 34 Boesler, Matthew, «The Worst Unemployment Crisis In Modern History Is Unfolding Right Now » in Business Insider Articles, May 6th, 2013. 35 Shepard Wade, Ghost Cities of China, the story of cities without people in the wirld’s most populated country, Zed Book, London 2015,p178. 36 Source: Statista, Number of registered marriages in China from 2004 to 2014 (in millions). 37 Hulshof, Michel, “Chinese box”,in Mark N49, April-May, 2014 ,p141-142. 38 Redvers, Louise, BBC News,Angola, 3 july 2012. 39 Paumgarten, Nick, «The Hangover», in the New Yorker, February 25th, 2013 40

The Economist, « Trickling in » in The Economist Newspaper Limited, Jun 16th,

2012. 41 Source: www.oxforddictionaries.co, May 21st, 2016. 42 Source: www.ayto-sesena.org, May 24th,2016. 43

The Economist, « Trickling in » in The Economist Newspaper Limited, Jun 16th,

2012. 44 Filmmakers and co-producer Adam James Smith, Song Ting, Qihan Wang, « The Land of Many Palaces », January 30th, 2015. 45 Smith Adam James « ‘Re-education’ campaigns teach China’s new ghost city-dwellers how to behave » in The guardian, November 6th, 2014. 46 Bilner, eli, « Ordos: A Ghost Town That Isn’t» in the Atlantic, April 8th, 2013.

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6.3 - Bibliography Books: MARCINKOSK, Christopher, The City that Never Was, December 2015. MILLER, Tom, China’s Urban Billion, The Story behind the Biggest Migration in Human History, London 2012. POIRAUDEAU, Anthony, Projet El Pocero, dans une ville fantôme de la crise espagnole, Paris 2013. SCHULZ-DORNBURG, Julia, Modern Ruins, a Topography of Profit, Madrid 2012. SASSEN, Saskia, Cities in a world economy [1994], New York 2011. SHEPARD, Wade, Ghost Cities of China, the story of cities without people in the world’s most populated country, London 2015.

Articles & Publications : ARNAZ, Roberto, “Kilamba, la ciudad fantasma pensada para medio millón de personas que solo tiene 220 habitantes” in Economía para todos, August 21st, 2012. ASSOULINE, Gary, “En Angola, la ville fantôme bâtie par la Chine», in Le Figaro, July 5th, 2012. BARBOZA, David, “Chinese City Has Many Buildings, but Few People” in The New York Time, October 19th, 2010. BADKAR, Mamta, “Check Out The Massive Chinese-Built Ghost Town In The Middle Of Angola “ in Business Insider, July 3rd, 2012. BASTOEN, Julien, “Espagne, les villes fantômes” in Archiscopie N133, January-March 2015, p38. BELO, “Sob contrato do governo angolano, vão ser construídas mais 10 mil fogos habitacionais na centralidade urbana do Kilamba” in Angola Bela, November 12th, 2015. BOESLER, Matthew, “The worst unemployment crisis in modern history is unfolding right now” in Business Insider, May 6th, 2013. BOLAND, Mary, “Seseña – a ghostly vestige of Spain’s building binge”, in the Irish Time, September 28th, 2013. BOOLLMANN Ingo, SHI Liyun, ” Ten millions and two weddings account for up to two per cent of chinese GNP” in Business Forum China, October 2nd, 2015, p.69-71. BRAUTIGAM, Deborah, “Chinese-built Angolan ‘Ghost Town’ wakes up?” in the China Africa Research Initiative Blog, April 2nd, 2014.

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BUIRE, Chloé, “The dream and the ordinary: an ethnographic investigation of suburbanisation in Luanda“ in African Studies N73, June 2014, p290-312. BUIRE, Chloé, “Views of suburban Luanda: banishing the ghosts from Kilamba“ in Africa Research Institute, September 2nd, 2015. BURGIS, Tom, “China in Africa: how Sam Pa became the middleman“ in FT Magazine, August 8th, 2014. CAMPBELL-DOLLAGHAN, Kelsey, “No one really knew how many ghost cities existed in China... until now“ in Gizmodo, April 11th, 2015. CHEYVIALLE, Anne, “L’économie espagnole à la gueule de bois”, in Le Figaro, October 28th, 2008. CROFT, Laura “Ghost cities in China: 64.6 million empty homes, apartments & condos“ in AGENDA 21 World News, April 26th, 2013. DAY, Peter, “Ordos: the biggest ghost town in China“, in BBC News Magazine, March 17th, 2012. DAILY MAIL REPORTER, “Why has China built a ghost town in Africa? Eerie footage shows brand new Angolan city designed for 500,000 lying empty” in Daily Mail, July 4th, 2012. DOMINGUEZ, Inigo, “Seseña, orgullo del ladrillo” in El Pais, March 1st, 2016. EML HOSPITAL, “Angola’s Grand New City”, in Angola Rising, January 6th, 2015. ERIKSSON, Jorgen, “Failed and Bankrupt Cities”, in Bearing Consulting, April 1st, 2013. FENG JING, “Urban planning from a microscopic perspectived to macro-scaled coordination case study: slum upgrade in Luanda, Angola” in Urban Planning and Design, Beijing, September 19th, 2015. FUNG, Esther, “Some ‘Ghost Cities’ in China Are Seasonal, Study Says“ in China Real Time Report, November 5th, 2015. GUO Xiaolin, “Land Expropriation and Rural Conflicts in China“ in The China Quarterly, No. 166, June 2001, p. 422-439. HULSHOF, Michiel, “Chinese boxes, developers and construction companies from the People’s Republic are building Africa’s mass-housing stock” in Mark N49, April-May 2014, p142-p147. JING, Li, “Angola’s major building block” in China Daily Africa, November 7th, 2014. KIAMBATA, Luis Neto, “L’édification de la démocratie en Angola grâce à la stratégie du Chef de l’Etat” in ANGOP Agencia Angola Press, July 1st, 2015. MALLONEE, Laura, “The unreal, eerie emptiness of China’s ‘ghost cities’” in Wired, March 2nd, 2016. MUYNCK, Berth, ULFSTJERNE Michael, “Ordos: a Chinese city constructed in the fast lane” in The imagined, vol 1, Autumn 2011. OLIVE, Flore, “Au pays des cités fantômes”, in Paris Match, August 17th, 2013. PAUMGARTEN, Nick, «The Hangover», in the New Yorker, February 25th, 2013. REDVERS, Louise, “Angola’s trophy city a ‘ghost town’ ” in Mail & Guardian Africa’s Best Read, November 23rd, 2012.

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REDVERS, Louise, “China in Angola: win-win partnership or marriage of convenience?” in the Worldfolio, May 3rd, 2015. REDVERS, Louise, “The big idea China and Africa, winners and losers” in China Economic Quarterly, September 28th, 2012, p. 28-31. RICHTER, Darmon, “Welcome to Ordos, China: the World’s Largest ‘Ghost City’ “ in the Bohemian Blog, December 3rd, 2014. SALIDJANOVA, Nargiza, «China’s new income inequality reform plan and implications for rebalancing» in U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission Staff Research Backgrounder, March 12th, 2013. SANCHEZ, Esther, “Seseña’s apocalyptic rubber mountain” in El Pais, September 22nd, 2014. SANCHEZ, Samuel, «El despertar de Seseña», in El Pais Semanal, March 5th, 2016. SANTOS, Laura, “Urban development and housing, state of the nation” in Imbondeiro Official Magazine of the Embassy of Angola to the USA, p 22. SERGIO, Paulo, “Angústia e desespero afligem ‘esquecidos’ do Kilamba”, in O País, April 27th, 2015. SHEEHAN, Matt, “Signs of life in China’s gleaming ‘Ghost City’ of Ordos “ in The WorldPost, April 5th, 2015. SCHULZ-DORNBURG, Julia, “la guerra dels pisos” in Ara N685, April 18th, 2012, p6-8. SCHULZ-DORNBURG, Julia, in El Pais Semanal N1880, October 7th, 2012, p50-57. ULFSTJERNE, Michael Alexander, “Un real estate, the social life of temporary wealth in China“, PhD Dissertation, Faculty of Humanities University of Copenhagen, 2015. VOON, Claire “A portrait of a Chinese Ghost Town on the verge of new life“, January 19th, 2016. WEARDEN Graeme, STANWAY David, “China slowdown: after years of boom, powerhouse sends world a warning“ in The Guardian, October 21st, 2008. WANG, Angela, “Property rights in China under the new property law” in World Law Direct, April 23rd, 2007. WANG, Bingfei “Country rises from ruins of strife“ in China Daily Africa Weekly, May 9th, 2014, p.12. WBROWN131 , «CNY 2015: Is Ordos’ old town China’s most American city?» in Wordpress, March 14th, 2015. WOODWORTH, Max, “Frontier Boomtown Urbanism in Ordos, Inner Mongolia Austonomous Region“ Cross-Currents: East Asian History and Culture Review, University of California, Berkeley, 2011. XINHUA, China, “Angola vow to boost win-win cooperation“ in People’s republic, May 10th, 2014. XU, Difei, “The ghost city of China, a revitalization strategy for Ordos“, Tongji University, 2013. ZHANG, Yifei, “Angola’s $3.5B, Chinese-built Ghost Town” in IBTime Business, September 7th, 2012. ZHU,Keliang, RIEDINGER Jeffrey “Rural China’s nascent land market“ in China Business Review, September 1st, 2009.

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6.4 - Interview with Wade Shepard, the writer of Ghost Cities of China

... ÂŤ I believe that as soon as the citizens are able to work there and get everything they need from the town where they live, it means the city is on the path to be vitalized Âť ...

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In your Chapter Three of Ghost city of China, you explain what you mean by the term ghost city and why you choose to use this term to describe this phenomenon. However, the researcher Antonio Alanis Arroyo described the same phenomena in Spain and named it « Interrupted city» . The photographer Adrien Golinelli entitles his next book about Ordos Kangbashi « Ordos, the stillborn city ».The writer Christopher Marcinkoski use the expression « City that never was » to define it and Kai Caemmerer use the term « unborn city» or his ongoing series .What is your reaction facing this four appellations ? I believe that the term « Unborn city » is the most accurate. I mean that is what there are, but if I had to choose a name it would be just « new city ». We agree that the term ghost cities is really not the corresponding but we use it as a label so everybody can understand quickly what they are about. If I used the term « ghost cities of china » in my title is in order to be sure that everybody will understand what I am talking about because they heard it somewhere in the news.That is the power of a label. I am curious what you believe can be defining criteria for what you called « ghost town » in China, can this be spacial criteria, a time period and/or a percentage of occupancy? In another term, up to with point a city ca be defined as « a ghost town »? The first criteria would be that the heart of the city is built. I mean if what was supposed to be the downtown area is achieved, the area is considerate to have all the basic to begin. However, there is no actual matrix which could define criteria. From my point of view, occupancy, density, and vacancy are the worst ones. I would rather base my definition by answering to this questions: how many people per square kilometers? how many businesses? The turnover of the business? How many people there is per block ? Or, how much a certain area is generating money ? Could you remind me what are the main reasons for the «failure» of these « Ghost cities » and to what extent can we talk about a «failure» of its urban planners ? There are several case studies where cities could have been qualified as « ghost cities » . However, few years after their creation they turn into dynamic cities such as the case of Lujiazui, in Shanghai Pudong. Furthermore, in China, there is no smooth urban planning process. For instance, if you look at Lujapu, as soon as they have money they build, then they stop, continue, stop and then restart again. The crazy period of oscillation was depending on if they had money or not. The other case studies to illustrate a nonsmooth urban process is when one leader decides one project for the city, then a new one arrives few years after and decides to change the project in order to show his different personal approach and then a new come back and then restart the first project again. The fact of a nonsmooth gradual process of urbanization can show that for a long time those projects looked like a failure but then universities and banks appear so no media talk to refer to the city as a 95 ghost town anymore. So it’s hard to say if those cities were a failure or not.


Besides this reasons, there is a different kind of new cities in China. On one hand, there are really big cities requiring a lot of government attention and investment that are too big to fail. On the other hand, there are smaller projects such as new neighborhoods with the less politic attention that maybe they won’t be vitalized in the future. From my point of view, in 2016 is too early to say if the actual ghost cities of China are a failure or not. In fact, it’s also hard to say what is a failure if there is no proper definition of what is a successful new city. It’s very easy to go out and see that there are no people in this city and qualify it as a ghost one. But as soon as a place is successfully vitalized, it looks like any typical Chinese city unless you know their history. The answer is any way subjective, but I believe that as soon as the citizens are able to work there and get everything they need from the town where they live, it means the city is on the path to be vitalized. What could be the ecological impact of a Ghost Town ? Tom Miller and you conclude your book saying that these cities have a high risk of being filled up. How about the construction quality of the buildings ? Can the buildings handle it so far? Buildings in China are built for 25 to 35 years old maximum and then they are rebuilt. Developers have 70 years license for a property so they can touch the money twice, the first time they build and then the rebuilding. So for me, the building quality is definitely part of the business. Is the expression of « Ghost cities of China « applicable to other cities in the world? More particularly, can you think about any Spanish or African ones? I don’t see a link between the ghost cities all over the world. If there is a tiny one, it will be the Chinese case and the Angolan one. China, I would say have a third world of economy, there is a lot of corruption implying a lot of black money. Black money needs to turn it into a white one and the easiest way to laundered this money in Africa or China is through the real estate. Between buying land and building, more there is construction more there is money to launder. This phenomenon is happening in all the country in a big phase of development. This is really different for the case of Spain or also the ghost cities existing California and Ireland. They probably look the same on the surface but the reason behind is different. Do you think the Chinese and Angolan speculative real estate bubble are following the Spanish model one? I don’t really know the Spanish and Angolan case, but I can explain the Chinese speculative housing market. In China the demand for housing is real, 30% of the demand are coming

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from people that are planning their marriage or planning to use their future apartment some days. People in China have the mentality of long term investment.


They buy property that is not immediately needed. It is their way to store money. The fact of having two houses or more doesn’t make them earn or loose money, as there are no taxes. When you have money you have to choose how you want to keep the money secure in term of value. Chinese real estate is the best way to keep safe your money, there is a strong belief that housing is valuable. Even if the price of the market go down people will not try to take their money from the bank as in Europe and invest somewhere else because they can not really go anywhere else with this money.It is a completely other academic scenarios. Assuming these ghost towns would face a future revival, do you think we could qualify it as ghosted ? According to you,what could be the different ways to revival a ghost town? Do you have reference project in mind ? It’s hard to say what will be the revival and what will be the natural part of the process. It is again this question of failure, as it if complicated to define which area is a failure how is it possible to define which area need to be revived. There is a period of stagnancy even in the example given before of Pudong. During few years, Pudong was still quite empty. From my point of view, the revival process can be to create just by a new infrastructure which will attach new city to a bigger one . A bird is not going to build a nest if there are no trees. The government needs time to build the tree and the branches that will irrigate the new city. In the Chapter Four entitle « When the construction ends the building begins » you qualify Ordos as « Gargantuan » .Howdo you think the city could be re-sized ? I am not sure that the city wants to have a human scale. the city planned a massive public place that is the equivalent of Tiananmen square in the center, the Museum , Opera house that is really a monument. But there are no reasons for anybody to go there. You see anybody walking in the center streets because everybody has a car. There 80 cars for 100 people in Kangbashi. So if you take pictures it will look like ghost cities with nobody. However if you go few blocks to the east you will see houses, stores, malls or food court. I faced a lot of difficulties to find an actual map of Ordos with the existing building, do how I can get one ? Or do you know someone who could help me ? I will introduce you to Adam James Smith and Song Ting them, the realisators of the land of many palaces. They should have a contact in the urban planning department fro the map. I understand

that some people may actually be living there, do you know

where exactly they are in the city and why they picked this location? When I was there the area around the food court seems to be really lively compared to the rest. The houses and complex and the other side of the central public space were also looking more and more inhabited. I would say the North side, south side and the East side 97 of the central park.


6.4 - Interview with Difei Xu, graduated student proposing a revitalization strategy for Ordos ...  I defiantly think that built on Ordos’ streets is totally doable, you can add commercial street and provide a better life for the citizen  ...

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In first pages of your thesis, you show different articles from newspaper describing Ordos Kangbashi as a ghost town. However, the researcher Antonio Alanis Arroyo described the same phenomena in Spain and named it « Interrupted city» . The photographer Adrien Golinelli entitles his next book about Ordos Kangbashi « Ordos, the stillborn city ».The writer Christopher Marcinkoski use the expression « City that never was » to define it and Kai Caemmerer use the term « unborn city » or his ongoing series .What is your reaction facing this four appellations ? First of all, the name is not what really matters to me as I believe everything is talking about the same thing. The phenomenon in Spain or the other places might be different from the Ordos one. Some cities like Detroit and couple of cities in Japan also become ghost towns because of the post-industrial whereas Ordos is the most different one because speculation of real-estate and its speed is different from other countries. I am curious what you believe can be defining criteria for what you called « ghost town » in China, can this be spacial criteria, a time period and/or a percentage of occupancy? In another term, up to with point a city ca be defined as « a ghost town »? There are two criteria that mainly define a “ghost town” for me are how empty is the city and how people feel in it. As a quantitative factor, the emptiness is measured by the vacancy rate versus the amount of construction that has been built. Last but not least, how the people really feel the city in terms of safety, pedestrian-friendly… also defines criteria of ghost towns that is independent of the vacancy rate. Could you remind me what are the main reasons for the «failure» of these « Ghost cities» and to what extent can we talk about a «failure» of its urban planners? Most of the Ghost Cities are the result of post-industry development combined with an economic failure. However, the interesting of Ordos is that it is also the result of a politics and urban planning failure. It can be stated that the failure of Ordos was due to the collapse of the coal mining industry as a first reason, followed by an inaccurate urban planning which made the problem even worse. If the city was planned in a better neighborhood style, urban pattern and different scale of roads it would feel much better. Nowadays, the emptiness and the excessively wide roads make the community is so disconnected. What could be the ecological impact of a Ghost Town ? Tom Miller, Wade Shepard and you are saying that these cities have a high risk of being filled up. How about the construction quality of the buildings ? Can the buildings handle it so far? I didn’t do this research by myself but I talk to some journalist from M.I.T. University. If a high rise building exists for more than five years with no windows and is done with the very bare concrete structure it will have more problem and won’t be good for people anymore.

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That’s how I came in my design project with the idea of to filling them by machines rather than people. I don’t have any number or fact to illustrate this saying. I took for international case study Mexican ,Japanese, and some U.S. example. Assuming these ghost towns would face a future revival, do you think we could qualify it as ghosted ? According to you,what could be the different ways to revival a ghost town? I read your thesis proposal, would you like to modify something to it? There are several ways to revive a ghost town, my approach is just one of the solution. It’s more about the ideology than the result. I choose the « addition » concept. The logic was that if there were new developing industries in Ordos, more people will come. In order to answer to the need of this new population, the city would have to build more. However, I could have chosen the « subtraction » concept. The subtraction scenario would have been to choose deserted area which could have been turned into public green space or farming field in order to propose a more ecological friendly city. Just a few centers would have been privileged and transformed into more dense and compact sustaining themselves. In your thesis, you said that the streets of Ordos were too wide, Do you think it’s possible to occupy the road network ? I defiantly think that it is totally doable, you can add commercial street and provide a better life for the citizen. I did some study about the commercial in my thesis, all the commercial center are concentrated in the center. I faced a lot of difficulties to find an actual map of Ordos with the existing building, do how I can get one ? I saw that you have a 3D model, how did you find the data to draw it ? I just could get a google earth picture. Do you know someone who could help me ? Or do you think you could help me ? I can give you the 3D I have. You can never get the map. It is considerate as a secret document that the government for security reason will not diffuse. I had to pay someone to redraw it.

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Profile for Carla Hajjar

Architecture and Urban planning Thesis  

The commonly used term “Ghost City” doesn’t have an official definition. It generally describes an urban development that drastically lost i...

Architecture and Urban planning Thesis  

The commonly used term “Ghost City” doesn’t have an official definition. It generally describes an urban development that drastically lost i...

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