China’s urbanisation programme is consuming up to 40 per cent of the world’s cement and steel reserves. Kangbashi is being built as an ultramodern administrative, research, finance and education centre to dwarf all its predecessors. Not far away, Yumen is crumbling hopelessly. Two manifestations of megalomania, both of them ghost towns: one post-industrial, the other obsessed by the future. Against the backdrop of the one goats graze among the ruins, and in the other the world’s largest and most beautiful fountains are all but deserted. Man Made Place is a Janus-faced opera, like a gigantic coin, not with two sides but with haunting images full of quiet mourning and painful melancholy.