Mobile Version
Free Internet Press
  Uncensored News For Real People


FIP Year In Review

FIP Month in Review

FIP Archive Search




2014-07-09
R.I.P. William 'Bill' Herbert Kelder - Intellpuke

2013-11-28
Gamers Donate 37,500 Pounds Of Food To Needy

2013-09-30
Statement From The Whitehouse Regarding The Government Shutdown

2013-09-29
An Open Response To 'Organizing for Action'

2013-08-26
Bayou Corne: The Biggest Ongoing Disaster In The U.S. You Have Not Heard Of

2013-04-21
Boston Mayor Hopes Feds 'Throw the Book' at Marathon Bombing Suspect

2013-04-19
Boston Police Closing In On Suspects

2013-04-15
2 Explosions At Boston Marathon. 2 Dead, Many Injured.

2013-01-03
The Press vs Citizens Rights and Privacy - Act 3

2012-12-30
CBS News - Year In Review 2012

Nature.com - 366 Days: 2012 In Review

The Guardian - 2012 In Review: An Interactive Guide To The Year That Was

TruTV - The Biggest Conspiracy Theories of 2012

Colbert Nation: 2012: A Look Back

FIP Year In Review(s?)

2012-12-25
Happy Holidays

2012-12-21
Welcome To A New Era!

2012-12-16
An Open Letter To United Health Care, Medcom, And The Medical Insurance Industry In General

2012-11-17
Whitehouse Petition To Remove "Under God" and "In God" From Currency And The Pledge.

2012-11-15
December 21, 2012

2012-11-11
If Hillary Clinton Ran For President, She Would Probably Be The Best-prepared Candidate In American History

2012-11-10
CIA Director David Petraeus Resigns After FBI Investigation Uncovers Affair With High-Profile Journalist

FIP Format Update

2012-11-07
Thank you for voting.

2012-11-06
Live Election Results

2012-09-30
FIP In Hiatus

2012-09-18
U.S.-Afghan Military Operations Suspended After Attacks

Iran Nuclear Chief Says IAEA Might Be Infiltrated By 'Terrorists And Saboteurs'

Romney Stands By Gaffe

2012-09-17
President Obama Says China Trade Practices Harm American Auto Parts Workers


Leaving It All Behind - When Modern Cities Become Ghost Towns
2012-05-27 01:31:03 (113 weeks ago)
Posted By: Intellpuke

Urban researchers in Berlin are exploring an eerie phenomenon -- the modern ghost town. From a deserted Cypriot holiday resort to a brand new Chinese city devoid of inhabitants, they are asking why people abandon their communities and exploring the stories that make these empty places so compelling.

The Japanese island of Hashima was once among the most densely populated areas in the world; but with the decline of the coal industry, the island was deserted in the 1970s. Now history enthusiasts like to explore it in hopes of discovering remnants of the mining town it once was. The desolate ruins of the settlement also inspire filmmakers to replicate the haunting setting in their movies.

Hashima is just one example of a number of modern "ghost towns" around the world that has drawn the attention of urban researchers, who opened an exhibition on the topic on Thursday in the German capital of Berlin.

Neft Dashlari is another. An artificial settlement off the coast of Azerbaijan, it was constructed by the Soviets after World War II, when the state was facing a major oil shortage. Having found a large oil deposit 42 kilometers off the Azeri coast, officials decided to build a town to accommodate the rig workers, erecting motorways and housing on top of huge steel posts. Now, as reserves near depletion, the settlement is beginning to resemble a deserted scene from a science fiction film.

Laundry Still On The Line

Ghost towns are not only the result of deindustrialization. Human error and conflict can also rob a community of life. Former Cypriot beach resort Varosha lies abandoned as a result of the Turkish invasion in 1974, which led its entire population to flee the area. Tables in deserted homes remain set for a meal and laundry still hangs on lines near the long stretches of abandoned beach.

(story continues below)




Accidents and natural disasters also cause people to desert their homes. An underground mine fire still burning after it began in Centralia, Pennsylvania, in the early 1960s has forced all but a handful of residents out. Just seven resolute inhabitants remain living there today without infrastructure and electricity.

Ghost cities are certainly not a new phenomenon. In just one of many such occurrences, a change of climate around 1400 is believed to have led to the abandonment of the prosperous ancient city of Angkor in Cambodia, which boasted an advanced water system and sophisticated international relations.

Perhaps even more striking are the existence of newly constructed cities that sit nearly empty, like Ordos in China, which has been described as the "best kept ghost town in the world." A modern city designed for 300,000, with street lamps run by wind turbines and freshly-laid asphalt, it now houses no more than 5,600 people, predominantly gardeners and builders who came for well-paid seasonal work.

Emotional Connection

Brigitte Schultz, urban researcher and editor of German architecture magazine Bauwelt, attributes the fascination with ghost towns to an emotional, rather than an intellectual connection to the phenomenon.

"I think people can connect to these stories," she told Spiegel Online at the opening of the exhibition featuring photographs of ghost towns around the world at the Architecture Museum at Berlin's Technical University on Thursday.

"The tales aren't supposed to be didactic," said Schultz, who also curated the show. "Often they remind us of our humanity. Take the case of Centralia, for example. Here are seven people who say, 'No, this is our home. We will not go,' even if that means living without roads and electricity."

Museum head Dr. Hans-Dieter Nägelke asserted architecture represents the "essence of a person". Taking a look around the museum's exterior, where tufts of grass were sprouting wildly from in between slabs of concrete, he quipped that Berlin reminded him of some places featured in the exhibition.

"These ghost towns make us wonder how long we will all be here," he said. "A thriving city can turn into a ghost town much faster than we imagine."

Intellpuke: You can read this article by Spiegel journalist Kate Katherina Ferguson in context here: www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/berlin-exhibition-explores-modern-ghost-towns-a-835282.html

Email To A Friend
Email this story to a friend:
Your Name:
Their Email:
 
Readers Comments
Add your own comment.
(Anonymous commenting now enabled.)

Creative Commons License
Free Internet Press is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License. You may reuse or distribute original works on this site, with attribution per the above license.

Any mirrored or quoted materials may be copyright their respective authors, publications, or outlets, as shown on their publication, indicated by the link in the news story. Such works are used under the fair use doctrine of United States copyright law. Should any materials be found overused or objectionable to the copyright holder, notification should be sent to editor@freeinternetpress.com, and the work will be removed and replaced with such notification.

Please email editor@freeinternetpress.com with any questions.

Our Privacy Policy can be viewed at https://freeinternetpress.com/privacy_policy.php

XML/RSS/RDF Newsfeed Syndication XML/RSS/RDF Newsfeed Syndication: http://freeinternetpress.com/rss.php

XML/RSS/RDF Newsfeed Syndication XML News Sitemap