Ten years ago, China was faced with a major shortage of housing. This crisis lead developers to frantically build several developments outside of urban areas by buying up cheap areas of land which ignited a building frenzy. Within the past 20 years, the rate of urban areas has increased fivefold. And while many media outlets have speculated certain drivers for this, only recent reports have discovered the exact reasons.
Data scientists at the Baidu Research Institute, located in Sunnyvale, Calif., conducted some research by using location data through the smartphones and GPS devices of 70 million residents. They then looked for residential areas with a sparse population, and tracked how these people moved in and out of the areas. They then confirmed their analysis with the Ministry of Housing an Development, and realized these complexes were not supplemented by other developments usually found in a typical city, such as schools, hospitals, and shopping malls.
Another reasonable response to why people have chosen not to move in is because of a lack of amenities. According to the Urban Land Institute’s (ULI) Kenneth Rhee, a lot of these developments are simply shells of housing developments, lacking appliances and even toilets. Just concrete cubes barren of any adornments.
Read more about this at NPR.
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