Ghost Town Luxury

Jing Jin City 1

Jing Jin City is a luxurious not-quite ghost town in the north of China.

By 2004, some 3,000 luxury villas had been constructed about an hour’s drive from Beijing, along with golf courses, entertainment complexes, a museum, a temple, two colleges, and an 800-room Hyatt Regency hotel. By 2020, 300,000 people are expected to live in the city.

But over ten years on most of the properties still stand empty. People do live here, but very few. Nonetheless, facilities are still maintained by a large group of gardeners and guards. It is they who make up the majority of the city’s permanent population. Despite the lack of visitors and home-owners, these caretakers keep careful watch over the Arcadian landscape. Guards man the gates into the gated communities where nobody lives; gardeners cut the overgrown grass of the pavement in the empty unsold suburbs.


Jing Jin City 4

Jing Jin City 7

Jing Jin City 6

Jing Jin City 5

Jing Jin City 2


Part of The Learned Pig’s Clean Unclean editorial season, March-May 2015.


The Learned Pig

Andi Schmied

Andi is an artist / photographer / architect. Her work deals with the underlying psychological patterns of unusual urban landscapes. She visits places that do not enter conventional urban logic - yet they are part of our cityscapes. She builds installations, scale-models and documents them. Her first book, merging fiction and reality of an existing city, Jing Jin City, was published in January, 2015. She completed her MA in 2012 at the Bartlett School of Architecture. She is currently based in Budapest and London.