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.
Eastern cities are hard to imagine without a huge number of the commercial places. It is in the genes of the local citizens to sell and buy regardless their age and status. Despite the fact that Istanbul is semi-European city, the metropolis has prominent oriental features. So as to know exactly where to go and what to buy, OUTLOOK talks about the most spectacular markets after returning from Istanbul.
Today we are inviting you for a walk in the oldest neighbourhood in the city of Lisbon, the famous Alfama, an emblematic quarter we often see in the movies and works of popular culture when it comes to the Portuguese capital.
Mosque, is a prayer building with a dome. It has adjacent minaret towers, there can be not more then nine minarets; stepping inside a pilgrim sees ancient writings which are lines from the Quran. Only Arabic words adorn the walls, portrait painting is prohibited. Today we will tell our readers about the most extraordinary treasures of the Muslim world.
In the world there are two Cartagenas. In both, their inhabitants speak Spanish, love bullfighting, and in the evenings they go to the beach to skip the mojito and breathe the salty wind. But only in one of them a rhythm of hot salsa, placers of emeralds and pearls can burst into a languid city walk, and bright, hot beauties can cross the road. And this is Colombia!
Small ethnic groupshave been always interesting for scientists and artists, who sought inspiration in their lifestyle. The Bajau - nomadic seafarers who formally can be correlated with Malaysia, are one of the most popular ethnic groups today.
Iceland is a ‘country of ice and fire’, ‘country of thousand rivers and lakes’, countless waterfalls and geysers. There, like in a fairy tale, again and again, you feel like pinching yourself to check if you are dreaming or does it all really exist…
Spiegelgasse is originated from German collocation ‘Mirror street’ or ‘Mirror alley’. However, it is not the biggest and the most important street in Zurich. Moreover, it is vice versa, incredibly short and narrow… Well, being situated in the quiet nooks of the old city in such a way that no tourists could see it.
Despite many pessimistic forecasts of urbanists of the 20th century, on-street trammanaged to stand up competition withsubways, cars and other means of public transport, and even found a second wind in modern city. The beginning of the 21stcentury, with its incredible technologies will surely become history as an era of "tram renaissance".
Ancient cities with their monuments, architecture, traditions and atmosphere are a desired destination for tourists, since visiting them one can learn and understand a country and its inhabitants. However, there are travellers who are fans of urbanism and modern urban planning. To delight them we prepared this article devoted to the newest cities that have sprung up recently around the world.
Croatia is dubbed the pearl of the Adriatic coast. This country in the south of Central Europe recently became a member of the European Union. Now its beauty sites are much visited: every year more than 10 million tourists come to enjoy it, that is even more than population of the country. Let’s find out what attracts travellers so much.
Georgia, which a little more than ten years ago hit the path of serious reforms, has changed much, not only becoming more democratic and more successful, but the state has also updated its look. Architects from around the world successfully worked here creating over all the territory a number of important and unique objects symbolizing country rebirth.
Many travelers just don’t want to go into all the troubles to get an American visa for some two weeks of holidays. But having glanced at pictures of Puerto Rican Mosquito Bay they’ll change their minds instantly. Dark sea slick, silence… when suddenly mysterious green glow from the depth extends the darkness to shock the public on the shore.
...The virtuoso chisel inhaled the heat of a living soul in a cold stone block and created a khachkar - an inspired narrative about the spiritual search and longing for a lost paradise, unhurriedly unfolding tenacious rings of ancient mysteries in the curls of mystical ornaments.
If you spent half a day enjoying chips with mayonnaise, herring, eel and cheese; your imagination managed to find solutions for all the riddles of the universe while waiting for hours in endless queue to the Rijksmuseum; and within a couple of hours you were almost knocked down on the road thrice, it means, no doubt, you were spending that day in Amsterdam.
There are many things that we can learn from citizens of the United States but what deserves special respect is love to their land. Patriotism of Americans manifests itself in everything, even in internal tourism - without having properly explored own country, an American would hardly travel anywhere outside its territory. Today we tell about one of the most popular internal tourism towns - about Leavenworth.
Seoul of South Korea that blisteringly turned from an ancient city of a poor country into a prospering capital of an advanced state over 20th century, definitely deserves respect; as much esteem is earned by those municipal officials and patriots who, in times of explosive industrialization, managed to preserve glorious heritage of the past – royal palaces of Joseon dynasty.
They are referred to differently in every other place but are loved, probably, in the same way everywhere. Sure enough, we talk about money or more precisely their “second names” because alongside official ones currencies have common nicknames which is not so well known, but clearly deserves attention!
To visit three countries over one day – it is possible if you are in Aachen. Situated amid Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, small student town took in features of medieval culture that reflected in its astonishing architecture. Yelena Buravtsova visited the town for it to win her heart with its off-beat monuments, streets paved with stone blocks, cozy cafés, one of a kind printed spice cake, museums and spectacular races.
Green slopes covered with heather moorland, deserted suburban roads, narrow streets with small cottages and gardens emitting heady fragrance - it seems that British villages are unchangeable through the passage of time. Like stilled scenery for heroic fantasy fiction, each of them has its own story about great battles, brave warriors and legendary artefacts.
Germans have other pets besides German Shepherds and in Boston not just Boston Terriers can be seen. People choose dogs relying on own preferences. But sometimes locals are too prone to having a certain breed so it becomes a distinctive of a location. Natural conditions, fashion and even set of mind contribute to it.