Allen.Birch

Urban Exploration

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In this blog we’ve talked a lot about the various urban sports such as skating and skateboarding, but one that is becoming more and more popular, pending of course the possibility of doing it is urban exploration. Unlike what I suppose we might call traditional exploration through wilderness urban exploration is the ‘discovery’ of places in urban landscapes that are otherwise abandoned or forgotten such as derelict buildings or even disused underground stations. While it’s a hobby that could be enjoyed anywhere in the world, here are my top three picks for urban places to explore:

London. The capital of the UK has been inhabited by people for nearly two thousand years, going back all the way to the days of the Roman Empire. Urban exploration isn’t necessarily focused on finding Roman ruins so much as abandoned factories, but in a place that’s been round for such a long time there’s always going to be something to find. The city’s outskirts are filled with disused factories or plants from times past and will never disappoint.

Hong Kong. While London is impressive being some two thousand years old, it’s nothing compared to Hong Kong which has been inhabited for more than 35 000 years! (That is at least the Check Lap Kok region of the city, where today one finds the airport.) For much of the region’s history it was a small collection of fishing villages and had a population of some 7500 when the British took over in the 1800s. Nowadays, with 7.3m people it’s a massive city. With its different ages and stages of development there are many places to explore and one can find any number of abandoned structures, some dating back a bit longer than a decade or two.

Berlin. The once and now again capital of Germany, Berlin has a population of just under 4m people. What makes this city an interesting place to explore is that for most of the last 80 years the city was actually two cities and to this day some differences remain. In what was East Berlin there are any number of abandoned factories that were given up on when the city was reunified and the capitalism deemed the places too costly to continue operating. In the city there’s an entire subculture that explore the abandoned places, including a once-beloved amusement park.

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