Replicant Cities: Identical Places On Different Continents

Imagine visiting a foreign continent and knowing every street, every tree like the back of your hand.25258635 Duplicate copies of unique, gorgeous cities seems like both the inverse and logical continuation of the 1950s idea of identical, planned tract-home suburbs. BLDG BLOG writes:

First there was the replica of Lyons, France, being built in Dubai; it would be a replicant city “of about 700 acres, roughly the size of the Latin Quarter of Paris,” and it would “contain squares, restaurants, cafes and museums.”

Now, though, we learn that a Chinese firm has been “secretly” copying an entire UNESCO-listed village in Austria, called Hallstatt. Residents of the original town are “scandalized,” Der Spiegel reports, by these “plans to replicate the village—including its famous lake—in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong.”

After all, in addition to the uncanny experience of seeing your buildings, streets, sidewalks, and even trees repeated on the other side of the world, “creating an exact duplicate of a city may not be legal, according to Hans-Jörg Kaiser from Icomos Austria, the national board for monument preservation under UNESCO.

Take a look at some photos of other Chinese duplication spaces, including the photo-friendly Thames Town, modeled after an English village (“when Thames Town was completed in 2006 not everyone was happy about it,” we read. “One English woman complained that her fish and chips restaurant had been copied in exact detail”).

18 Comments on "Replicant Cities: Identical Places On Different Continents"

  1. The chinese even pirate cities now.

    Their big plan is to copy the entire united states, they are first going to try out copying Rhode Island… Unfortunately they cant figure out where to put Quahog.

  2. The chinese even pirate cities now.

    Their big plan is to copy the entire united states, they are first going to try out copying Rhode Island… Unfortunately they cant figure out where to put Quahog.

    • Liam_McGonagle | Jul 7, 2011 at 6:34 pm |

      I figure it’s kinda like Flann O’Brien wrote in “At Swim-Two-Birds”:  There are far too many fictional characters already–no need to go inventing new ones.

      But ferseriouslyherefolks, this is a g*ddamned abomination.  I really mean that.  It’s not a coincidence that every iconic imagining of Hell created since the Industrial Revolution emphasizes themes of an unyieldingly banal unoriginality.

      This thought occurred to me over the weekend when I visited a local shopping mall.

    • You think that’s bad, I’d like to know where they plan on putting Springfield!

  3. empty can | Jul 7, 2011 at 4:48 pm |

    I hope they don’t copy my town, they will be bored to death.

  4. empty can | Jul 7, 2011 at 12:48 pm |

    I hope they don’t copy my town, they will be bored to death.

  5. justagirl | Jul 7, 2011 at 5:56 pm |

    duplicate creation?   …a bit of an oxymoron.  where’s the fun in that?

  6. justagirl | Jul 7, 2011 at 1:56 pm |

    duplicate creation?   …a bit of an oxymoron.  where’s the fun in that?

  7. Anonymous | Jul 7, 2011 at 10:34 pm |

    I figure it’s kinda like Flann O’Brien wrote in “At Swim-Two-Birds”:  There are far too many fictional characters already–no need to go inventing new ones.

    But ferseriouslyherefolks, this is a g*ddamned abomination.  I really mean that.  It’s not a coincidence that every iconic imagining of Hell created since the Industrial Revolution emphasizes themes of an unyieldingly banal unoriginality.

    This thought occurred to me over the weekend when I visited a local shopping mall.

  8. Anonymous | Jul 7, 2011 at 11:09 pm |

    I guess imitation isn’t the sincerest form of flattery after all. “Nothing new under the sun” seems more appropriate
    for this Disney style abomination. 

    But, people will say “how quaint”.

  9. GoodDoktorBad | Jul 7, 2011 at 7:09 pm |

    I guess imitation isn’t the sincerest form of flattery after all. “Nothing new under the sun” seems more appropriate
    for this Disney style abomination. 

    But, people will say “how quaint”.

  10. Hadrian999 | Jul 7, 2011 at 11:45 pm |

    i was driving through georgia one time and ran into a fake Bavarian village in the heart of the south, it was all very odd, you can recreate structures but no the soul of a place.

  11. Hadrian999 | Jul 7, 2011 at 7:45 pm |

    i was driving through georgia one time and ran into a fake Bavarian village in the heart of the south, it was all very odd, you can recreate structures but no the soul of a place.

  12. Anonymous | Jul 8, 2011 at 12:57 pm |

    You think that’s bad, I’d like to know where they plan on putting Springfield!

  13. This is all that comes to mind when I see this.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyrHxeb_eTI

  14. This is all that comes to mind when I see this.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyrHxeb_eTI

  15. Justin Mitchell | Jul 11, 2011 at 7:09 am |

    So is this some kind of Chinese Voodoo?  Make a replica and influence the original…

    Or, as an alternate theory: the Chinese aren’t creating a duplicate city at all.  That is just the formal explanation for how another dimension overlapped into ours. The geography is off, but you would expect that if moving from a higher existential frequency to a lower one I suppose.  So when you see duplicates of other cities start popping up, as well as duplicates of yourself, you can relax in the knowledge that it is just a blending of two or more dimensions in the same space…

  16. So is this some kind of Chinese Voodoo?  Make a replica and influence the original…

    Or, as an alternate theory: the Chinese aren’t creating a duplicate city at all.  That is just the formal explanation for how another dimension overlapped into ours. The geography is off, but you would expect that if moving from a higher existential frequency to a lower one I suppose.  So when you see duplicates of other cities start popping up, as well as duplicates of yourself, you can relax in the knowledge that it is just a blending of two or more dimensions in the same space…

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