Copy and paste cities

China, known to produce bootleg consumer products like electronics and apparels, is about to embark on a grand bootleg project. This time, it won’t copy iPhones and Louis Vuittons, but a parcel of New York: Manhattan. This construction frenzy is nothing but new though. No, not only in China. Snowboarding in a desert, creating islands, and even the world is the norm in Dubai.

Can city plans be patented so as to avoid copycats? Also, assuming China pulls this ambitious construction project off, where would the similarities stop and differences would begin? And what’s next? Will China copy the Chinatown?


4 thoughts on “Copy and paste cities”

  1. Hi Andrew –

    Thanks for the reply and link! I’ve been in India for a year working on a pollution control policy study and then a pollutant emissions pilot. Loving the field work and not looking to switch into a HQ job just yet. But as I’m applying to grad programs now, trying to see what the future holds after (or absent of) grad school and hence what kind of grad school makes sense.

    I have a few questions regarding life at the Bank, especially since both of our interest lies in the environment. Perhaps it’s better to email in private instead. Which email can I reach you at?

    Looking forward to chatting and exchanging more thoughts/articles in the future!


    1. Hi Carla,

      Glad to learn about you interesting work in India. One of my options after my JPA stint is to work in the field, maybe somewhere in Latin America. Or maybe another Master’s degree!

      Send me an email at Do you have a blog I can subscribe to?


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