SEA Satellite Cities - The Pristine Exclusivity of Cambodia’s ‘Imported Cities’

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SEA Satellite Cities - The Pristine Exclusivity of Cambodia’s ‘Imported Cities’

Post by CEOCambodiaNews »

The Pristine Exclusivity of Cambodia’s ‘Imported Cities’
Feb 12, 2018
By selling off huge tracts of municipal land to foreign property developers, Cambodia is upgrading its infrastructure and testing the limits of urban cohesion.
At the entrance to Grand Phnom Penh International City, bronze stallions gallop across the tops of twin arches, supported by imposing white columns in the classical style of ancient Rome. The road that leads into the luxury estates beyond is lined with coconut palms, a rare nod to Cambodia in this satellite city that feels a world away from its geographic location.

Situated on 640 acres of land to the north of Phnom Penh, the “self-sustaining urban township” is being built as a joint real estate venture by Indonesian and Cambodian property developers. It is one of a half-dozen massive development projects — entire cities and neighborhoods unto themselves — reshaping the character of Cambodia’s dusty, low-rise capital.

For the past two decades, the Cambodian government has been handing over large tracts of land to private companies, ostensibly with the aim of spurring economic development. But what was initially designed to be a selectively-employed tactic to attract foreign investment has evolved into a broad-based approach to urbanization that concedes large sections of the city to offshore property developers.

Economic Land Concessions (ELCs), as such land deals are usually called, were until recently mostly used in rural areas. The government would grant a foreign agricultural company a long-term land lease and in return that company would use the land to grow crops like bananas or sugarcane. The concept was framed as a win-win scenario, in which private companies get access to land and Cambodia gets an economic boost from a thriving agrobusiness within its own borders. ... ted-cities
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