China Is Building a City Bigger Than Washington on 4 Islands in Malaysia
On four man-made Malaysian islands, Chinese developer Country Garden is building a huge new city. In one of the ads, the company bills it as "a dream paradise for all mankind."
Called Forest City, the $100 billion metropolia will be able to accommodate 700,000 people. That's about 20,000 more than the current population of Washington, DC â€” and it will have a density greater than Manhattan.
A new video taken by a drone offers a look at Forest City's construction, which began in early 2016.
As shown in the video, a few apartment buildings and park spaces have already sprouted up, and some other towers are in progress. When Forest City is complete by 2040, it will have office buildings, parks, a transit network, hotels, restaurants, shops, schools, and 250,000 housing units.
While the mega-development sounds promising, several experts worry it could become a ghost city, failing to attract the residents it needs to become a thriving metropolis. Since the 1970s, Chinese developers have built some-500 ghost cities in China. Forest City is expected to be the largest overseas project by a Chinese developer.
In April, nearly 60 home buyers, 70% of which are Chinese, cancelled their leases in Forest City, reportedly due to China's increasing efforts to curb money from leaving the country.
As Business Insider previously reported, the supply of Forest City housing is outpacing demand. In 2016, Country Garden sold just 15,000 of the 250,000 Forest City residential units, totalling about $2.6 billion in sales, according to Yu Runze, the company's chief strategy officer.
There aren't many people walking around in the area, but then again, Forest City is largely still under construction.