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Build it and they will come. Or perhaps not.

David Gray / Reuters

A crack runs across a deserted street as two men walk in front of the unopened Ordos Museum in the Kangbashi district of the town of Ordos in China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on May 11.

Ordos was first dubbed China's "empty city" in a 2009 report by Al-Jazeera.

According to Reuters, the Kangbashi district of Ordos is filled with thousands of residential apartments and duplex-style homes built to house workers for the nearby coal mines. There are also many large office towers, administrative centres, government buildings, museums, theatres, school playing fields and exhibition centres. However, the estimated one million people that were expected to move into or visit the district's now decaying buildings have yet to appear.

David Gray / Reuters

A large monument depicting fighting horses stands in the main square in the Kangbashi district of Ordos.

Bill Powell of Time described the scene on his visit last year:

Only a handful of cars drive down Kangbashi's multilane highways, a few government offices are open during the day and an occasional pedestrian, appearing like a hallucination, can be seen trudging down a sidewalk, like a lone survivor of some horror-movie apocalypse.

David Gray / Reuters

A policemen stands in front of a traffic light at a main intersection in the Kangbashi district of Ordos.

Patrick Chovanec, a professor at Tsinghua University's School of Economics and Management, examined the situation in Ordos in the context of China's real estate boom.