Not every building is as beautiful as the Palace of Versailles. Or blends into its surroundings as well as the Macallan Distillery. On the contrary, there are many structures across the world looking like outcasts that will fall apart during the next storm. In some places, they aren't isolated examples, either — even an entire neighborhood can be an abomination. And you can find them on r/UrbanHell.
It's a photography subreddit of "all the hideous places human beings built or inhabit." The online community invites everyone who wants to explore the darker side of the cities, towns, and villages in our shared world and welcomes any photos which show either ugliness, or a problem in urban development. Rural and suburban nightmares are also allowed.
Below you will find a collection of pics that perfectly describe what this subreddit is all about.
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About half of the global population already lives in cities, and by 2050, two-thirds of the world's people are expected to live in urban areas. But as you can see from some of the photos in r/UrbanHell, in cities, two of the most pressing problems facing the world today also come together: poverty and environmental degradation.
Bad urban development isn't just ugly aesthetics. It's also poor air and water quality, insufficient water availability, waste-disposal problems, and high energy consumption, all of which are exacerbated by the increasing population density and demands of urban environments. Strong city planning is essential in managing these and other difficulties as the world's urban areas grow.
Some of the biggest problems caused by urbanization are:
- Intensive urban growth can lead to greater poverty, with local governments unable to provide services for all people;
- Concentrated energy use. It leads to greater air pollution with a significant impact on human health;
- Automobile exhaust produces elevated lead levels in urban air;
- Large volumes of uncollected waste create multiple health hazards;
- Urban development can magnify the risk of environmental hazards such as flash flooding;
- Pollution and physical barriers to root growth promote loss of urban tree cover;
- Animal populations are inhibited by toxic substances, vehicles, and the loss of habitat and food sources.
Solutions might include:
- Combat poverty by promoting economic development and job creation;
- Involve local community in local government;
- Reduce air pollution by upgrading energy use and alternative transport systems;
- Create private-public partnerships to provide services such as waste disposal and housing;
- Plant trees and incorporate the care of city green spaces as a key element in urban planning.
Ultimately, cities can bring us obstacles and opportunities as well as freedom and captivity, and it's up to us to get the most out of them.