Geographies in Depth

China is building a city bigger than Washington on 4 islands in Malaysia

ATTENTION EDITORS - IMAGE 1 OF 22 OF PICTURE PACKAGE '7 BILLION, 7 STORIES - OVERCROWDED IN HONG KONG. SEARCH 'MONG KOK' FOR ALL IMAGES - People cross a street in Mong Kok district in Hong Kong, October 4, 2011. Mong Kok has the highest population density in the world, with 130,000 in one square kilometre. The world's population will reach seven billion on 31 October 2011, according to projections by the United Nations, which says this global milestone presents both an opportunity and a challenge for the planet. While more people are living longer and healthier lives, says the U.N., gaps between rich and poor are widening and more people than ever are vulnerable to food insecurity and water shortages.   Picture taken October 4, 2011.   REUTERS/Bobby Yip   (CHINA - Tags: SOCIETY) - RTR2SQJP

Called Forest City, the $100 billion metropolis will be able to accommodate 700,000 people. Image: REUTERS/Bobby Yip

Leanna Garfield
Reporter, Tech Insider
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On four man-made Malaysian islands, Chinese developer Country Garden is building a huge new city. In one of the ads, the company bills it as "a dream paradise for all mankind."

A drone video of Forest City in Malaysia, uploaded on April 22, 2017.
Image: SouthernCorridor Malaysia/YouTube

Called Forest City, the $100 billion metropolis will be able to accommodate 700,000 people. That's about 20,000 more than the current population of Washington, DC — and it will have a density greater than Manhattan.

A new video taken by a drone offers a look at Forest City's construction, which began in early 2016:

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As you can see, a few apartment buildings and park spaces have already sprouted up, and some other towers are in progress. When Forest City is complete by 2040, it will have office buildings, parks, a transit network, hotels, restaurants, shops, schools, and 250,000 housing units.

While the mega-development sounds promising, several experts worry it could becomea ghost city, failing to attract the residents it needs to become a thriving metropolis. Since the 1970s, Chinese developers have built some-500 ghost cities in China. Forest City is expected to be the largest overseas project by a Chinese developer.

In April, nearly 60 home buyers , 70% of which are Chinese, cancelled their leases in Forest City, reportedly due to China's increasing efforts to curb money from leaving the country.

As Business Insider previously reported, the supply of Forest City housing is outpacing demand. In 2016, Country Garden sold just 15,000 of the 250,000 Forest City residential units, totaling about $2.6 billion in sales, according to Yu Runze, the company’s chief strategy officer.

There aren't many people walking around in the above video, but then again, Forest City is largely still under construction.

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Geographies in DepthUrban Transformation
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