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Ordos City in China, was meant to house a million people, now is the largest Ghost Town in the world

Ian Harvey

It is a common occurrence to find the remains of amazing cities from the past, however in a peculiar turn of events, photographs of a futuristic city are surfacing the web. With immense shock and awe, the internet went electrified upon the release of a set of pictures of a city from China’s Inner Mongolia. The series of the photographs, dubbed ‘A Failed Utopia’ depict an abandoned city initially constructed to accommodate some one million people.


Built in the dessert some 350 miles from the capital Beijing, the city of Ordos covers an area of land larger than entire Las Vegas.

With an aspiration to venerate the Mongolia, the initial aim was to build a city crowning the Mongolian culture. The construction of Ordos was initiated in 2004 and was completed in 2012. A team of architects went to all lengths to come up with the state of the art construction designs and ideas to make the city a ‘Mongolian oasis’ in the desert. The developers invited some of the best architects and designers from all over the globe to bring forward their best and most brilliant ideas for city’s many structures. However, contrary to the developers’ expectations the futuristic city absolutely failed to attract the attention of the public, and soon lost hope of any hustle and bustle.


There is a lack of agreement among the experts on the reasons of the failure of Ordos. Some people point towards the sky-high house prices while others blame the remote location for the lack of buyer’s interest. Whatever the reasons for its failure, Ordos is now the perhaps the only known futuristic abandoned ghost town on earth with some of the most stunning structures towering out of the desert.


The government has done everything conceivable to fill thousands of residential apartments and other houses, but to no avail. Local farmers were offered handsome compensations if they wish to move to one the houses in Ordos, however most of the farmers simply refused the offer leaving the government and builders understandably embarrassed.


In 2012, Chinese government played their last wild card for Ordos, by organizing a Miss World beauty pageant in the city. Although the event was a success, it could only help fill mere 2% of the entire city. However, the beauty contest brought Ordos to spotlight and suddenly everyone was talking about this rare ghost town from the future.

One can spot odd tourists and locals having a stroll among the towering structures, which adds to the eeriness of the city. The locals who decided to make the move to live in Ordos say that they made the decision purely because the city is less polluted than Beijing, and is certainly more peaceful.