According to the South China Morning Post, ambitious expansion plans by small and medium towns across China have lead to the creation of more than 3,500 “new areas” for residential and economic use raising fears many are destined to become ghost towns. The combined projected population of these new areas is an “impossible” 3.4 billion people – 2.5 times the current number of people in the country, experts say. The world’s population today stands at 7.3 billion, according to the US Census Bureau. Beijing has pinned high hopes on making urbanization a new engine of growth as the economy matures and slows. But the number of towns that have rushed to join the urbanization wave has outpaced the central government’s plans.