These Chinese buildings are coming to a city near you

colombo port city 7

Editor’s Note: Nate Berg is a journalist covering cities, architecture and urban planning.

CNN  — 

A square mile of new land spreads out from the shores of Colombo, Sri Lanka. Crews are 80% through reclaiming approximately 65 million cubic meters of sand from the Indian Ocean floor.

The land will form the foundation of Port City Colombo a massive new district of high-rise office towers, luxury apartments, tree-lined canals and beachfront villas.

Adjacent to the city’s central business district and a recently upgraded port, the $1.4 billion project is touted by its developers as “a world class city for South Asia.”

For South Asia, perhaps. But not by South Asia. The Port City development, like a number of other infrastructure and building projects throughout Colombo, is being primarily financed, designed, engineered and even constructed by China.