Ordos – The Stillborn City
by Adrien Golinelli
Amongst the countless new city projects that have proliferated in China, Ordos stands out. It is the biggest, the most megalomaniac, and the worst situated one: In the middle of Inner Mongolia's vast steppe, tens of kilometers away from any settlement, in a region almost void of water and trees.
Ordos was set to welcome at least a million inhabitants. Yet, repelled by its harsh climate and exorbitant prices, barely a few thousands ever settled. There is no activity in Ordos, except building Ordos.
The migrant workers, coming from the poor regions of China, account for the biggest share of Ordos’ «inhabitants». The others are civil servants, transferred here to artificially populate the city. They are handsomely paid, live in western style residential neighbourhood, and their task mainly consists in bearing an incommensurable boredom.
Because Ordos, the city that had everything better and bigger, still awaits the essential: its people.