Considering the fact of ghost cities, we borrow the theory of urban vitality to identify and evaluate ghost cities in this paper. We argue that ghost cities are associated with very low urban vitality. In the light of big/open data, we are able to profile ghost cities of China based on 535,523 recent project-level residential developments from 2002 to 2013. We use the national-wide and million magnitude road junctions, points of interest and location based service records of 2014/2015 for measuring the morphological, functional and social vitality of each residential project. We then aggregate the project level evaluation results into the city level and thirty ghost cities are then identified by comparing the residential projects' vitality in the old (developed before or in 2000) and new (developed after 2000) urban areas in each city. Our profiling results illustrate the big picture of China's past residential developments, and then of ghost cities.
For more details please see our recent paper "
Evaluating cities' vitality and identifying ghost cities in China with emerging geographical data
" published in Cities “http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S026427511630261X".