Copy and Paste Urbanism

Halstatt, Austria & China

Left: Halstatt, Austria; Right: Halstatt, China. Photo courtesy of Gizmodo

A Chinese real estate developer just completed a full scale replica of the Austrian village of Halstatt. The cloned village is located in Guangdong province’s Huizhou city, about 100 miles outside Hong Kong.

While this may be “flattering” to the Austrians who have seen their village copied, it is not a promising development in urbanism. It is a shame that developers can get away with this complete lack of creativity in the design and construction of new communities. However, this may also be an indicator that buyers are willing to pay the appearance of of an authentic place even if it is thousands of miles outside its original context.

Kudos to Planetizen for picking up my submission.