Songdo, outside Seoul, was envisioned as a futuristic international business hub, drawing residents from all over the world. Instead, this young city has become populated mostly by Koreans. Ari Shapiro/NPR hide caption

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The twisting Shanghai Tower (right) is the world's second-tallest building and opens soon. Shen Zhonghai/Gensler hide caption

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Kathy Van Sluyters (left), Barbara Carr and Colleen Dickinson chat on a recently finished sidewalk across from Wildflower Terrace, a mixed-income apartment building in the Mueller development for people ages 55 and over. Julia Robinson for NPR hide caption

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Solar Sunflowers, an art installation, greets visitors to Mueller's commercial and retail hub off of Interstate 35. The panels power a nightly light display and return power to the grid. When the development is complete, five miles of granite trails will connect the residents to its commercial and retail hubs. Julia Robinson for NPR hide caption

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