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