Have you ever wondered how chancy abandoned sites are?
Abandoned sites dominate our neighborhood’s physical environment by affecting community well-being and health, and viewed as a sign of social disorder. Here are the reasons-
Illegal dumping: Abandoned sites can be a target for illegal dumping, leading to the release of pollutants, including chemicals, construction waste, and other materials, into the environment.
Chemical leaks: Abandoned sites may contain chemicals and toxic substances that can leak and contaminate the soil, groundwater, and air.
Figure 1: The Welsh Bromine Works, Wales Abandoned Chemical Processing Plant (Source: Obsidian Urbex Photography)
Hazardous waste: Abandoned industrial sites may have hazardous waste materials that can contaminate the environment, affecting the quality of air and water.
Decay and debris: Abandoned sites can become a breeding ground for pests, mold, and other harmful organisms that can contribute to air and water pollution.
Structural damage: Abandoned sites can pose a structural risk that can lead to accidents that can cause environmental damage, including leaks, fires, and explosions.
Provide cover for criminal activity: Abandoned sites can provide a space for criminals to hide and carry out illegal activities. These buildings are often unmonitored and can be used for activities such as drug dealing, prostitution, and theft.
Attract criminal activity: Abandoned sites can attract criminal elements to a neighborhood. For example, drug dealers may be attracted to abandoned buildings because they provide a space to store and distribute drugs.
Reduce community involvement: Abandoned sites can make people feel unsafe and fearful, which can reduce community involvement in the area. This can lead to a lack of eyes on the street and a lack of community policing, which can make it easier for criminals to operate.
Decrease property values: Abandoned sites can decrease property values in the surrounding area, which can lead to economic decline. This can create a sense of hopelessness and despair in the community, which can contribute to criminal activity.
Physical: Abandoned sites may be structurally unsound, with the potential for walls, ceilings, and floors to collapse and due to breeding of pests in these places creates unsanitary conditions that contributes to the spread of communicable diseases.
Mental: Abandoned sites can contribute to a sense of decay and neglect in a community, which can lead to feelings of hopelessness, anxiety, and depression.
Here are some abandoned places around the world-
- Pripyat, Ukraine
- Battleship Island, Japan
- Bodie Ghost Town, California, USA
- Maunsell Fort, Kent, England
- Presidio Modelo, Cuba
Addressing abandoned sites can involve a range of strategies, collaboration between different organizations and can be a challenging but necessary step in revitalizing communities and promoting economic development.
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