Thames Town is one of seven satellite foreign ethnic towns nearing completion on the fringe of Shanghai built by the municipal government to re-house 500,000 people. Each of the seven satellite towns offers a national theme — and the latest news is that there will eventually be a hotel to go with each theme.
The German new town offers the Chinese Hansel and Gretel-style gingerbread homes.
Thames Town boasts has a fish and chip shop, a Gothic church, village green and mock-Tudor pub selling British real ale, well almost real British ale. It has been built in little over three years and within the design are five centuries of British architecture. The project has, so far, cost £US200m.
Shanghai planning officials have said that foreign visitors, who initially will have a choice of two hotels to say at, will soon be unable to tell where Europe ends and China begins which many not, perhaps, be the ideal marketing angle for tourists.
Thames Town is in Songjiang, 20 miles outside Shanghai. It will house nine universities, 100,000 students and staff, several hi-tech plants, and one of the world’s biggest shopping malls. A railway will take commuters into the centre of Shanghai in less than 20 minutes. Although accommodation there is expensive more than 95 percent of the apartments have already been sold.
Source: The Guardian