Monday, July 1, 2013

Why China loves to build copycat towns

A woman dressed in a red dress walking in Thames Town, China 

China is well known for its pirated DVDs and fake iPhones, but this "copycat culture" extends to architecture too - with whole towns sometimes replicated. 

As you enter Thames Town, the honking and chaos of Chinese city life fall away. 

There are no more street vendors selling steamed pork buns, and no more men hauling recyclables on tricycles. 

The road starts to wind, and then, in the distance, you see what looks like a clock tower from a Cotswold village.

"It has this almost dreamlike quality of something European," says Tony Mackay, a British architect, and the master planner for the Thames Town housing scheme and the surrounding district of Songjiang.
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