2008 - ongoing
Gathering and Analysis of Data
Abandoned cities around the World
No city is destined to survive forever. Through history, plenty of settlements established around the globe are now “invisible cities“ in our contemporary landscape. This certain “birth” and “death” of cities shows us once thriving communities that have vanished over time. Some disappeared entirely or were absorbed into newer settlements, but many of these cities still stand, at least in part, allowing us glimpses of what these now-abandoned places once were. The goal of this project is to map out those “invisible cities“ across the world, and examine those factors leading to the “death of cities“. This abandonment and ruination can be the result of various elements such as depleted natural resources, economic activity shifting elsewhere, main roads bypassing or no longer accessing the city, human intervention, natural disasters, massacres, wars, and the shifting of politics or fall of empires. By analyzing those “invisible cities“, the project raises as well questions on our future cities. By 2030, urban areas are projected to house 60 per cent of people globally and one in every three people will live in cities with at least half a million inhabitants. Understanding the life cycle of past cities and analyzing current urbanization likely to unfold over the coming years is crucial to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable for future generations.