There’s a new place to move for anyone in China homesick for the Western world.
Real estate developments modeled after Western cities have been popping up all over China in recent years. Whether you’re looking for London, Venice, or Jackson Hole, Wyoming, you can find it here. Tianducheng, or “Sky Capital City,” is a full scale replica of Paris, complete with Haussmann-era architecture and its own Eiffel Tower. Built to satisfy what developers thought would be a flood of upper class demand for European getaways, these towns failed for many years to gain traction in the real estate market. For a long time Tianducheng was practically a ghost town, its streets deserted and its elaborate period penthouses vacant.
Recently, however, the town has seen new life, after an eerie music video (at 1:24 “Paris” comes into view) brought attention to the bizarre copycat city. Once a symbol of China’s failure to adapt to a booming population and industry, the faux Paris is finally a home for more than 30,000 people, who get to look at the Eiffel Tower every day from 5,000 miles away.
It’s not quite Paris, but for a few thousand lucky Chinese citizens, it’ll do.