The once flush-with-cash town of Ordos, China, has been called the world’s largest ghost town.
In the early 2000s, a coal-mining boom led local government to throw money at urban development there, in the hopes of creating a new epicentre of culture, economy, and politics.
Ordos New Town, also known as Kangbashi, would hold 1 million residents and be known for its massive abstract architecture projects, residential towers, and state-of-the-art sports venues. (Developers later scaled back the concept-city to accommodate 300,000 residents.)
But high property taxes and poor construction deterred people from settling in Ordos. In 2016, some 100,000 people lived and worked there — leaving the city two-thirds empty.
“The whole city feels like a post-apocalyptic space station straight out of a science fiction movie,” says photographer Raphael Olivier, who captured the city in a series titled, “Ordos – A Failed Utopia.”
Olivier shared some of his spectacular images with us. You can check out more on his website.