RU  UK  EN
Articles  >  Visit  >  Ghost cities: Detroit, Oradour-sur-Glane, Pripyat, Chenggong

Ghost cities: Detroit, Oradour-sur-Glane, Pripyat, Chenggong

Author: 26.04.2018 | architecture, travel, society
American Detroit was until recently known as the automotive capital. But nowadays it is more often than not mentioned in the context of decline and population outflow. Outlook decided to figure out why ghost cities emerge.

Photo imgur.com

Over the last 40 years population of Detroit fell by half. While in 1970 1.5 million people lived there, in 2012 there were only 700 thousand. And, sadly, the trend runs on to the present day. 

Photo krugom.ru

As far back as in 1950s number of the huge metropolis dwellers began to decrease. Then it was due to the fact that wealthy inhabitants preferred moving to prestigious suburbs. People who remained in the city were not the richest ones and there was a high percentage of dark-skin population. Because of that interracial conflicts kept bursting out which made Caucasians start leaving the city. And it was oil crisis of 1973 that ‘finished’ Detroit. It made many American industrial companies go bankrupt so they had to either shut down completely or reduce staffs significantly. All these factors turned the city into a perfect stage for post-apocalyptic movies with filmmakers actively taking advantage of it for they don’t have to build half-destroyed skyscrapers, streets with trees growing through asphalt and real abandoned districts – all this stuff is enough and to spare in what used to be the USA’s industrial heart.

Photo aardvark.news

Populated localities die out for various reasons therefore a story of each of them is unique. Take, for instance, Oradour-sur-Glane in France; it was seriously damaged in World War II. During famous Normandy landings SS troops stormed in because of rumors that a captive German officer was in town. In merely a couple of days of mass executions the place turned into empty ruins. And after the war Charles de Gaulle decided not to restore Oradour-sur-Glane leaving it as a memory to descendants about terrors of Nazism.

Photo dvark.pl

Another reason for a ghost city to emerge is a manmade disaster. And here we will, unfortunately, tell about Ukrainian Pripyat because its absence would make the selection incomplete. Inhabited locality, situated three kilometers away from notorious Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, was founded in 1970. According to the design of Soviet engineers, it was supposed to become a prosperous city of the future. However the explosion at the plan and evacuation that followed it interfered with lives of 50 thousand people in 1986. Nowadays almost nobody lives in the territory of ‘Nuclear Town’ and it became a site of pilgrimage for stalkers and tourists long time ago.

Photo pinterest.com

By the way, despite abandonment, Pripyat was never deprived of its city status and is formally under the jurisdiction of Kiev Administrative Region Council for there is no own regulatory body there.

Lately ‘ghosts’ emerge even in places that are most favorable for living. Last year I was surprised a lot when told that in comfortable German Hamburg there are a couple of abandoned districts. Not having believed it, I headed there to check it for myself. As it turned out, in newly-built Hamburg City and Altstadt windows are mostly dark in the evening and one can hardly meet people outside. And this is the courtesy of sky-high prices for residential space. Even apartments that were paid for were purchased as investments – not to get settled in, because there are almost no shops or other infrastructure there. Currently authorities are trying to fix the problem somehow since there is critical need for affordable housing in Hamburg. Instead of 6 thousand of annually needed apartments only 4 thousands are built; this gives rise to serious discussions in German society. Tons of concrete just stand there unowned while people even with high income cannot afford buying residential space in new districts.

Photo deacademic.com

Similar problem can be spotted in China. Not just districts – whole towns stay empty there. In Chenggong alone, which was built in 2003, about 100 thousand apartments are awaiting owners.

Photo dnpmag.com

Local authorities are in no hurry to relocate there people from Yunnan province with its 46-million population. The Chinese believe that such cities are ‘reserve airfields’ of a kind in case of natural disasters. Therefore, while the country still has spare money for construction, such residential locations will keep emerging.

Photo dnpmag.com

In 2013 in the whole Celestial Kingdom number of empty apartments ‘eager’ to have someone to reside in them amounted to 50 million. And the lucky ones will not be found waiting because in this huge country urban expansion is massive and at least 10 million people annually move to cities.

Main photo pinterest.com

It will be interesting:
A trip to Transylvania: Intriguing places of Romania
A visit to picturesque Transylvania is akin to mystic extravaganza that takes place in reality. But laymen rarely know for sure what to visit in Romania aside from the famous Bran Castle, residence of Count Dracula. OUTLOOK solves the problem and offers an opportunity to personally choose an exciting route – its history may not just surprise but also stir your blood.
Dallol: Bright glory of Ethiopia
Countries often flaunt their natural beauties: they invite tourists allowing them to examine closely every detail of jewellery coined by the nature. Among beauties, there are some that are the most extravagantly bright, showy and bizarre, and sometimes even wild for our eyes. African Ethiopia grabbed one of the most beautiful accessories - Dallol volcano.
Only sky is a limit: Worlds's highest observation decks
Nature bestowed our planet with many sky-high peaks, which at any moment give visitors the feeling of boundless freedom. Cities build skyscrapers boasting to one another and, to satisfy high aspirations, they add observation decks at the height of the bird's flight. Travelling from continent to continent, with bated breath we will admire the world's loftiest views from the summits of supertalls.
Montserrat: Visiting Angels
Should we have a look at notes of those who plan their trips to Spain, next to the darling of all hearts, Barcelona, Montserrat is bound to rank second. Also, the mountain of the abbey is a must-visit spot for local dwellers, too – they believe it necessary to visit Catalonia’s religious heart at least once a year.
Postcards from Bulgaria
Having taken the passport and good mood, go on May holidays to the so-called "Near Abroad" - Bulgaria - the country where ancient architecture is successfully combined with a relaxing sea breeze. Do not you believe? But OUTLOOK is sure that Pavel Khomenskyi through his photos will be able to convince you! Bright and in its own way majestic Sofia - this is a must see on these holidays! Let's go with us!
Banned to leave handling kiwi. Customs bans on export
Tourists with their eyes full of tears because statuettes, shells and other stuff bought “as a souvenir” are being shaken out of their bags – is a continual occurrence at customs. For you not to become one of those tourists, OUTLOK suggests you check out a selection of (sometimes weird) objects forbidden to be exported from different countries.
Guinea Bissau: Expensive downshifting
People on holiday can be divided into two types: “tender creatures” and “adrenaline addicts”. Former ones will trade passive sunbathing and comfortable hotels for nothing. The letter ones prefer even cabins to annoying all inclusive and suites. “Cabins” are the conditions Guinea Bissau provides you with.
Sentosa – The whole Singapore in one island
To fully experience a country with the territory of over 700 square meters in merely a couple-of-days-long walking tour is very much possible. And no superpowers like teleportation or ability to move at light speed are needed for that. It is enough to head for Sentosa Island that pertains to the Republic of Singapore and completely reflects its specialties. And all that against no more than 100 dollars!
One Lives And Learns – World’s Most Interesting Campuses
On the threshold of a new academic year we simply couldn’t but inspire both current and future students with most impressive university and institute campuses. Those who have already received degree will probably get filled with admiration, too, and start thinking whether or not to get another one because in such places one hits the books especially fruitfully.
City paths. The narrowest and widest streets of the world
Approximately 53% of the world's population lives in cities, which in contrast to villages where highways are almost the same, consist of many routs: long and short, wide and narrow, beautiful and plain. There are no criteria: someone admires Rio slums more than Broadway Avenue. We will not judge what is best or worst, but just focus on data.
We were there: Sopot
European coast of the Baltic Sea can boast of neither warm waters nor lasting beach season – this however does not prevent it from being a popular resort area. Great number of cozy coastal towns attracts tourists first of all with fresh and curative air as well as with the opportunity to “heal the eyes” looking at the cold sea and amazing landscapes. Sopot – main Baltic resort of Poland – exhibits all of these advantages to the full.
Oman is a country with aroma of incense
This country became open for tourists only in late 1980s although its port cities were considered windows to the new world in past. It is now famous as a producer of most expensive perfumes, world supplier of incense and a keeper of copper pits that used to be a source of the metal for ancient civilizations!
Postcards from Batumi
Young Ukrainian writer Pavel Khomenskyi visited Batumi, the city smothered in greenery and shining bright, the one that local citizens call the city of love. Palm trees, cypresses, magnolias, oleanders, bamboos, laurels, orange trees, thujas and box trees exhale fragrances on every step there; they tempt you to go watch a romantic picture of ships sailing off harbors. And today the author shares with you his postcards from this amazing city, penetrated with murmur of the sea and taste of fragrant wine.
I came, I saw, I built. Masterpieces of Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini
Sometimes it happens that you look at a postcard with a picture of a city and instantly realize that this is Kyiv, or Moscow, or Rome or your native village. And it isn’t courtesy of your geography teacher but back-breaking efforts of artisans with whose hands commonly familiar architecture masterpieces were created. Today we recall Italian conqueror of marble Gian Lorenzo Bernini.
On the Road – Own Way
OUTLOOK cannot imagine life without travelling. However, tickets, schedules, tardiness – all those things can spoil any trip. Therefore it is great to have either at home or in you garage a kind of transport that can allow you to see and to experience something new and forget all the problems.
"All inclusive" and even more: amazing hotel service
Hotels that offer “all inclusive” for dogs. Hotels where adults are being lulled asleep by a fairytale or a unique place where work isn’t held in honor while laziness is encouraged. This is not a dream or a parallel reality – these are stalky hotel services…
World transport: Vertical Lisbon
Lisbon is one of the most beautiful and ancient cities in Europe, however, its territory is difficult for living and building due to its steep hilly terrain. Portuguese metropolis is situated on seven densely populated hills. That's why its hallmark is three funicular railroads and the elevator, without which tourists and residents would be much in trouble moving around the city.
History of the street: Bagdad Avenue in Istanbul
If all the magnificent Istanbul is considered as the heart of regional trade, one of its most luxurious streets, Bagdad Avenue, is, certainly, the main artery. Having appeared there, even rejecting shopping with the whole heart, one feels hardship while trying to keep him balanced and not succumb to temptation to go to the ships and markets. Even though, apart from that, there is something to do here.
Around the world. Top of the most unusual world travel
Traveling has long ago become a part of human life. There have always been bravehearts and madmen who headed off up hill and down dale, took risks and eventually discovered new lands. Today, when the world map has a very accurate outline, we offer you a couple of stories about trips around the world that contributed to its creation.
Rainbow-colored Flower
Everybody remembers a child’s fairy tale about the magical rainbow-colored flower that could make wishes come true. But some of us don’t know that it actually exists. Not so much in the shape of a flower but more like in granular state. We mean the sand that one of the villages on Mauritius, called Shamarel, is covered with.
Close
Outlook facebook page