Beijing, China. Plans have been announced for the Xiongan New Area, a special economic zone that authorities say will eventually cover an area three times that of New York. The previously unknown region region near China’s smog-choked capital has been overrun by home buyers after Beijing unveiled historic plans to build a new city there, taking special meassures to control pollution and congestion.
The official news agency of China Xinhua said Xiongan’s creation would reduce pressure on China’s 22 million resident capital Beijing, and “usher in a new chapter in the country’s historic transition to coordinated, inclusive and sustainable growth.” Officials involved in the construction announced,”This is a major historic and strategic choice made by the Chinese Communist party’s central committee with comrade Xi Jinping as the core.”
Local media reports claimed property prices nearly doubled in the hours after the surprise announcement.“I was so excited that I didn’t sleep the whole night”, one would-be buyer, named as Chen Bo exclaimed. Bloomberg reported that the scramble for property caused gridlock on roads leading into the area while local hotels were flooded with guests.
China has created dozens of new cities in recent years as part of a massive urbanisation drive that has seen hundreds of millions of people pour into its new urban centers. Critics say many have become ghost towns but in a recent interview Wade Shepard, the author of a book on the phenomenon, said some were now beginning to take off, leaving critics behind as the building goes on with no end in sight.