China either has some serious architecture-envy, or they’re just big proponents of world exploration without stepping foot outside of the country. The Sydney Opera House, Paris, Venice, London—you name it, China’s probably copied it. Reasons are unclear, but you know what they say: imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?
In 2001, Shanghai launched a building initiative called “One City, Nine Towns.” The idea was to create nine towns that replicated different European styles of architecture as satellite cities around Shanghai that would draw residents into smaller towns in the hopes to decrease Shanghai’s ballooning population. The result was a handful of replicated European mock-villages, some of which were extremely expensive to create. Many have since essentially become ghost towns. Ahead: the “One City, Nine Towns” replicas, along with a few other faux destinations around China.