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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sauntering through picturesque nooks of Grand Dame Europe we look around without even suspecting how many interesting things there are beneath our feet. If you are annoyed with standard tours that include marathon race around museums and monuments, we suggest you have a look at good Old World from a different perspective. Or more specifically, look under its feet.
Tibet… what are you mulling over while articulating this name, drawing it in your mind mentioning the concept involved in the mild space of clouds?Tibet… There are mountains that seem to be speaking with the heaven. Here everything is penetrated with the religion and different beliefs such as culture, art, folk traditions and customs.
Why have three wives if there is a chance to get hold of jewels? And as soon as a name of a king becomes “nourished” with a collection of family relics, one can start thinking about the one and only who will continue a reputed kin. Knowing that Thirty Years’ War was about to begin, Christian IV of Denmark and Norway ordered to build a castle that would be impossible to destroy.
Mon amour, mon ami… All most beautiful words and songs of love sound in French. Review every curve of France and find privacy in province of Provence that gently swings in the south-east of Brigitte Bardot and Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Ancient cities from Marseille to Monaco are penetrated with lyric antiquity so ideas of staying at Côte d’Azur keep coming back to your head.
If you like having rest in Bulgaria but haven’t picked a town to stay in, try and do it in Balchik. It will suit those who value cozy yet non-costly trips without a flow of holiday-makers and an empty pocket afterwards. And the town’s ancient age together with unique landmarks will create a great alternative to sun and sea bathes.
Majority of people associate Morocco with either red or yellow – Africa, after all, heat, sand, spices and so on as the list goes. But it only happens in heads of tourists who have never visited an amazing city with such a pleasant and tender name as Chefchaouen. After that one the whole country seems to be a single cloud.
In the very heart of jungles, surrounded by a stripe of water around the perimeter, a huge regular-shaped rectangle that seems like it is giving geometry classes to the starts overlooking it is situated. Silent skies saw times of shiny glory and painful descent of this amazing object. Over five centuries it had been the prime pearl of the mysterious Khmer Empire, its crowning glory and its enemies’ envy.
Mexico is a hot and passionate country. At least, legendary Mexican soap operas have contributed to this image. It is time to go there and get your own unforgettable experience that will forever stir your soul! Mexico is a country in the south of North America washed by the Pacific Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of California and the Gulf of Mexico. Surfers say the waves are amazing there...
Bulgaria rests on two pillars: beautiful nature including perfect beaches and thousand-year history. There are mystical and magnetically attractive places, vibrant discos and nature reserves. We invite you to check out our list of unexpected ideas for holidays to discover all faces of Bulgaria.
Stereotypes are terrible. They form a definite picture of the world in our heads, and it is not so easy to change. Take, for instance, the concept of skyscraper: imagination of 90% people immediately provoke skyline of American cities, familiar from movies and TV. It is quite logical, but nowadays panorama of the best luxury skyscrapers is in other direction – keep moving to the East. For Arab structures may outdo Western ones in all respects.
While on a trip, willy-nilly you take one of the local excursions. Big promises of travel agents and reviews on sites for travelers do not always help compose a correct picture of your destination. Today we will get you ready as we selected the most amazing trips in the world.
When moving to a new country, more often than not people tend to get settled nearby emigrants like themselves. It is pretty convenient: accommodation isn’t expensive, job can be found right on the location and there is no need to study a new language – everyone around understands you. This is how national ghettos appear.
One can get from Kyiv to Helsinki by car in less than a fortnight. In day and a half by railway. For more impatient travelers planes exist. Several airlines fly from Ukraine to Lapland. By sky it will merely take you two hours to reach crystal surface of the Gulf of Finland, famous saunas and clothes made of deerskin.
Beaches, forests, deserts are not enough to say that you have already visited many parts of the earth. Definitely, you wanna something extraordinarily special? Why not! Humanity has flown into space a long time ago! Frankly speaking, the journey to Mars will seem too expensive even for a millionaire. After all, a trip outside the Earth costs the budget of a personal island.
Often the Balkan countries are deemed to be something very close to us in terms of mentality, culture and traditions, that traveling there seems to be something second-rate, no match for a trip to Europe, or to some islands. However, today we would like to tell about magic Balkan cities that can compete with the much favoured tourist centres!
Ancient Fez medina is firmly holding time in a criss-crossing maze of tiny alleyways and picturesque shops. The medieval town of craftsmen does not recognize modern technology, however, it is not difficult to trace a full production of cute handbag with embossed lettering. The leather for souvenir is produced there, in courtyards, and at a reasonable cost a tannery owner would reveal details of folk art with a millennial history.
Impressions of this city depend much on what you have visited before being introduced to it. After Los Angeles it may seem very business-like and culturally rich, after New York – provincial and old-fashioned somehow. In any case, it has a bright and memorable face of a gentleman from Massachusetts.
5 tons of water fall off into the ravine every single moment, roaring, raising steam and disseminating spatter in all directions. ‘Liquid wall’ of Iguazu Falls extends its crescent on the border of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay.
Having taken tens of millions of visitors in a couple of hundred years, the Postojna Cave made Slovenia being proud of it because of the main tourist attraction in the whole country. The maze of stone tunnels, halls and corridors, carved by nature itself, plus modern services for guest travelers have made these grottoes one of the most popular in the world.
Balkans is the travel destination that is becoming more and more popular year by year. Perhaps, every traveler has its own favorite countries of the region, however, we cannot avoid telling about the main state of this semi-island Serbia.