A dystopian universe filled with concrete, trash, traffic, and cramped spaces only seems like something reserved for movies. But sadly, this is already happening in some places across the globe. There are billions of people living on planet Earth, and as our population grows, so do our cities. While we are stuck in our own bubbles, we may not see the nightmares that sometimes come with urban developments. If you’re curious to see another side of our world, scroll down to find a darker side of urban society.
tHE DIVIDE BETWEEN THE RICH AND THE POOR IN Romania, 1999
The super-rich living next to the super poor isn’t something we haven’t seen before. Regardless, it is still a haunting image that can really get you thinking. Unfortunately, we see this exact image in many parts of the world today in 2022.
These studs can be found in cities across the world and are known as anti-homeless spikes
We don’t like this one bit. The spikes displayed are implemented by cities to keep the homeless away and this pushes them further and further away from our sights. There’s just a lack of generosity that comes with these spikes and not to mention, pretty harmful. Instead of these spikes, perhaps housing the homeless would be a far better idea.
The remains of a rock carved buddha can be seen under a residential complex in China
Just imagine living on top of this structure. This doesn’t look like a very safe living arrangement if you ask us. Who knows, maybe this site was a very spiritual place where people could come to and offer thanks. But now, this Buddha is being used to hold up the apartments above it.
There isn’t a single tree in this neighborhood
This is the neighborhood of Escobedo, Mexico. While visually appealing, this monotonous urban town is not a place we would like to live. Would it really be too much to add some trees? This place really needs something to liven it up, otherwise, it just seems like the most depressing town.
The aftermath of a colorado wildfire
This is a very surreal and devastating sight. The damage from this colorado fire looks straight out of a movie. During these fires, around 33,000 acres of land were burned. The fires began in the morning of December 30th and quickly spread across suburban neighborhoods, causing thousands of people to evacuate their homes.
Chinese swimming pools are some of the most crowded in the world, you have to pay extra to swim in peace
A picture worth a thousand words. During the summer months, many friends and family try to beat the heat by spending the day at the lake, beach, or pool. Some areas in the world, however, are more crowded than others. This swimming area in China, for example, is very crowded. In order to spend some quality time alone without bumping into strangers, this man had to pay extra.
This is an average parking lot in the Netherlands
While this may be better than your average car parking lot, bicycle parking in large quantities seems like an urban hell environment to us. And just imagine forgetting where you locked your bike up. The one plus side is that the bikes take up way less space than cars would, not to mention, a lot less gas.
Train travel in Bangladesh looks like a nightmare
The amount of people on this train is unfathomable. If you’ve ever complained about your public transport system, this picture will probably make you think twice about complaining. Usually, if there aren’t any more spots on the bus or the train, the driver closes the door and you wait for the next one. But in Bangladesh, there’s a spot for everyone, even on the roof.
In an effort to create more space, the graveyards in hong kong are vertical
The hyper-dense population of Hong Kong means that when people pass, they need to find ways to create space for burials. The solution they came up with was vertical cemeteries that occupy the city’s mountainsides. While unusual, they do save space in a town where urban space is quite limited.
This train in Vietnam pass right through these houses several times a day
This train might seem like the most annoying thing to run through your town, but the locals that live here are used to it. But if we lived there, we can’t imagine we would be happy about this. Waking up to the sound of train tracks doesn’t seem very pleasant, not to mention, the tracks are only an arm’s length away from these homes.
Modern Cairo looks very apocalyptic
If it weren’t for the two pyramids in the background, we would have thought this was straight out of an apocalyptic movie. The buildings are so cramped together and there’s a haze over the entire city, giving it a very eerie look. Many people go to Egypt to visit the famous pyramids, but many don’t see what’s going on behind the scenes, literally.
The intricate Highways in Dubai portray a city of artificiality
Although these roads look nice, this highway system almost looks a bit too perfect. Imagine missing an exit and easily adding an extra thirty minutes to your ride. These seem like you would really know where you were going. Dubai is ranked the 42nd most expensive city in the world, so it makes sense that their roads look expensive too.
This apartment block in St. Petersburg houses over 18,000 people
Yup, this is one single building in Saint Petersburg, Russia. You may be wondering how so many people can possibly live in one complex, but we are more curious about how any of these residents find parking spots. Just this one building alone looks like it can be its very own suburb. We can’t imagine this would be a pleasure for someone who has claustrophobia.
This open-pit diamond mine in Siberia, Russia happens to be directly next to this town
Ok, frightening much? This diamond mine in Russia called the Mirny Mine is a huge hole in the ground that can be seen from space. It seems that some of the hoses are standing right at the edge of the mine. Even just looking at this picture of a gaping hole is enough to scare us, so we will reject any invitations to settle down there.
There’s a train that runs daily through an apartment building in Chongquing, china
Imagine your alarm clock every morning is this train passing through your building. This 19-story apartment has a built-in train track, and we can imagine that might be a deal-breaker for anyone apartment searching. You could either look at this as the most annoying way to wake up or as the best time-saver when it comes to commuting to work.
An elderly couple refused to sign an agreement that would demolish their home for a new road
An elderly Chinese couple did not want to get rid of their home when plans were made up to build a new road. This house in the middle of the road illustrates the connection this couple has for their home. This image really reminds us of the move ‘Up,’ and if we were in this situation, we aren’t sure we would be ok with living on the road, literally.
Residents live inside “coffin cubes” in Hong Kong and live a very boxed-in life
Life in Hong Kong is so overpopulated, that some apartments are cubic boxes where you cook dinner in your bathroom essentially. This kind of living condition where your home is just one room is lived in by some of the poorest people in the city. These “coffin cubicles” are only 15 square feet, and some are so small, that one can barely stand up straight in them.
What concrete hell looks like
Buildings are necessary to expand cities around the world, but the more we look at this picture, the more depressing it seems. It seems like concrete is taking over cities more and more these days. While they are meant to bring about more life into a city, unfortunately, it sometimes has the opposite effect.
El Salvador’s prison pits cram notorious criminals inside cells that are only 12 ft wide and 15 ft tall
These are not the prison cells we are accustomed to seeing. While this holding cell is only used for 72-hour stays, the conditions are completely inhumane. The men inside are not within public view, but after one look, it’s clear why. Some men inside even face health problems and malnutrition. They can be cramped up in these cells for years at a time even.
There’s only one house that stands out among this neighborhood in Copenhagen
If you stare at it long enough, this neighborhood will give off some creepy vibes. The oddly similar houses side by side makes us feel a little uneasy. It almost looks like something out of a mystery movie, and we aren’t sure we want to know what the ending is. There’s just something about everything looking just right that is putting us off.
The Burj Al Babas Housing project is the largest ghost town in the world
These identical and very distinct-looking castles packed tightly together is making us feel uncomfortable just looking at them. This housing development was going to be a luxury town with villas, but due to Turkey’s economic crisis in 2018, the project ended abruptly. Now, the castles remain abandoned with debts of $27 million.
The Olusosun landfill in Lagos, Nigeria is the largest dump in Africa that gets up to 10,000 tons of garbage every day
This landfill is a 100-acre dump and happens to be one of the largest dumps in the world. Most of the trash that gets dumped here is actually from electronic waste from 1st world countries. Even sadder, there are about 1,000 homes at the site that are occupied by people that work there to scavage through the trash to sell.
This highway over Naples is a little too close for comfort
We wouldn’t know what to do with ourselves if we lived under this highway. The amount of fear would be far too much for our liking. These raised highways may help free up some space when it comes to traffic, but it’s frightening nonetheless. We’d be nervous of a car falling down on a house, and that’s not something we’d want to risk.
This hotel in Russia casually sits in front of a power plant
This is the Zareche hotel located in Russia. It happens to be right in front of the Tex-22 powerplant. We aren’t sure if anyone ever makes reservations here, but one thing is for sure, we will not be staying at this hotel. We will gladly stay somewhere else for our safety, as well as for warmer and sunnier weather.
there are metropolises, and then there’s Tokyo
This picture is hard to comprehend because the city looks like it goes on forever. It seems like such an overwhelming place from up high. By looking at this city, you can’t truly grasp the scale of it. It’s just endless and endless views of human development. Knowing this town is made up of nearly 40 million people makes us appreciate the small towns we grew up in.
These Advertisements on a building in South Korea at least give the town some color
This particular building gives a whole new meaning to “commercial building.” The colors displayed on this commercial building do in fact provide a nice contrast to the other concrete apartments surrounding it. To us, it looks like it would fit perfectly in Blade Runner.
with over 1.5 million people, Ecatepec is the 2nd most populated city in Mexico state
While Ecatepec is one of Mexico’s largest cities, it also happens to be one of Mexico’s most dangerous cities. Many tourists traveling through Mexico City avoid this city when traveling as to not put themselves at the wrong place at the wrong time. We also can’t imagine this would be a nice city to pass through with the lack of greenery and vibrancy.
Vorkuta, Russia is the coldest city in all of Europe
The coldest city is not a place we would ever want to live, especially when that place doesn’t even have roofs on its buildings. This town in Russia is so cold, their lowest temperature ever recorded was -52 degrees celsius. We can’t even wrap that number around our heads. But maybe you’re someone who loves the snow, so in that case, this place may be up your alley.
This residential district in Dubai looks like it was copied and pasted
What may look like a community out of a Sims game is actually a residential neighborhood in Dubai. If we stare at it for too long, it makes us feel a little bit uneasy. The perfect symmetry of these houses looks like a true concrete jungle we would not want to be a part of. WE can’t imagine the number of times people must have gotten lost in this neighborhood.
A bird’s eye view of the crowded city of Manila in the Philippines
One thing is for sure, and that is we would hate living in this city. Just imagine how cramped it is, not to mention, you can barely spot any trees in sight. It just looks like an extremely unorganized city to live in and we would probably travel by foot if we were ever to find ourselves there, otherwise, we’d probably be stuck in an obscene amount of traffic.
Poverty is right in the middle of the world’s richest place in Macau, China
This is definitely an interesting perspective of this city. Macau is a city often compared to Las Vegas because of its rank of the world’s third-richest place. But unfortunately, alongside the rich live the very poor. The slums are contrasted with the Lisboa Casino which makes for a very interesting and sad contrast.
Suburbia that never ends
How does anyone tell their houses apart besides their address? We understand it’s nice to build a community, but a community where everything looks picture perfect and exactly the same? This suburb just keeps going and going. To us, it seems pretty depressing. Some splashes of color seem like they would do wonders to this neighborhood.
This is the flag of urban hell
We aren’t exactly sure where this is, but it definitely sets an eerie picture of whatever town this is. This shopping cart on a pole that resembles a flag really seems to represent urban hell to a T. It’s pretty impressive that someone even managed to get this up there, let alone have it stay there long enough to snap a picture.
The ghostly “round houses” in Moscow, Russia
This round architectural structure is an actual residential building in Russia. It has nine floors and a whopping 913 apartments. That’s a whole lot of neighbors. When it was built in the ’70s, a circular shape was chosen to separate itself from the boring Ochakovo-Matveevskoe District. While it looks somewhat nice in the fall, it’s still a bit creepy.
These apartment buildings show the extreme density of hong kong
Is it just us, or do these buildings almost look like gigantic milk cartons? Hong Kong is so populated, how many apartment blocks can they possibly have? They also all look pretty similar to each other. Crowded apartments can’t be fun for anyone, and just looking at this photo is enough to induce someone’s claustrophobia.
Mumbai’s ocean spit out what was dumped in
India’s Mumbai ocean gets an exceptional amount of trash thrown into it with no regard. However, during one of India’s annual monsoon seasons, the ocean spat out the trash it received. This photograph shows a heartbreaking reality and one that won’t continue to get any better if people aren’t more conscious.
This one-kilometer social housing block in Rome is no feast for the eyes
This long social housing block, the Corviale, was built back in the 1970s. It is home to about 6,000 people. It was originally meant to be a utopian community away to help with the overcrowding happening in the city. But things didn’t go as planned when the construction company went bankrupt, and they only managed to get one long wall up.
This apartment complex in Tartu, Estonia looks like a maze we don’t want to get lost in
The town of Norilsk, Russia is one of the world’s largest pollution producers
Norilsk, Russia is an industrial city with an average of 175,000 people. Besides the pollution this town creates, this town located above the Arctic Circle also has extremely cold temperatures. Believe it or not, this town has also been coined, “the most depressing place on earth.”
This is only a tiny sliver of the L.A. Sprawl
If you thought Los Angeles was huge, this picture proves it’s even bigger than you imagined. it’s really mind-blowing how vast it is when you look at it from an aerial view. It’s so dense, all we are seeing is concrete. It seems like such an unnatural way to live, so we just hope that back on the ground, things look better than from up here.
This soccer field in brazil is surrounded by a slum
Brazil is the country of football, or soccer depending on what area of the world you live in. The sport is so important in this country, it happens to be smack in the middle of this neighborhood. Although you may question the city’s priorities, it seems like a great activity for kids in the neighborhood to participate in.
Skiing at the 2022 Olympics in Beijing is nothing we would have expected
Ok, when we first looked at this picture, we assumed it was definitely photoshopped. But we were sadly mistaken. For such a grand and publicized event, the background tells a very different story. Besides Beijing, only one other country wanted to host the event, and that was Kazakstan. Other bidding countries eventually ended up dropping out.
Istanbul Then Vs Now look like two completely different places
It looks like Istanbul has been experiencing explosive growth over the years. The first image is so lush, it almost makes Istanbul look like a painting. Fast forward to today, and Istanbul has turned into a concrete jungle. If you look closely, you can spot the mountains in the background, but the modern development here seems to have taken over everything else.
An advertising ship on a Chinese river looks like the beginning of a dystopian movie
Well, isn’t this depressing? You can’t even go on a boat ride or a fishing trip without being bombarded by an advertisement. Not only that but the smog and air pollution accompanied by the advertisement makes this one of the most dystopian photos we have ever seen.
This housing complex in Mexico looks like it came out of a video game
Believe it or not, this is not photoshop and it’s also not a screenshot from a video game. This is a real-life housing complex in San Buenaventura, Mexico City. The architecture is very peculiar and creeps us out just by looking at it. When every house looks almost identical, how does anyone not get lost in this neighborhood?
The inequality of the Santa Fe Neighborhood in Mexico
This is one of those instances where you can say a picture is worth a thousand words. The divide between the rich and the poor is made clear by this aerial shot. This photo shows the extreme wealth inequality in the Santa Fe neighborhood in Mexico City. It’s an interesting contrast to see wealth and poverty side by side.
The view from this apartment complex is enough to make anyone dizzy
This apartment complex in Hong Kong closely resembles a box due to these apartments’ close proximity to one another. It’s sp compact, you can only see a small section of the sky above. While there is something beautiful about this picture, we can’t imagine ever wanting to live in such a tight and cramped space.
This town in Newcastle looks like a scene from charlie and the chocolate factory (1971)
This is Frank Street in Benwell, Newcastle, and at the time, it looked like it was straight out of a dystopian movie. The symmetry of the street, the old cars, and the smog in the background set up the perfect scene. You can tell how dense the street is, with houses cascading down, and they also just so happen to be across from a heavy industrial zone. Nothing screams urban hell more than this.
The busy city of Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong
There is so much happening in this photo, we have to admit we are pretty overwhelmed. If we are overwhelmed just by looking at this photo, we can’t imagine how we would feel if we were physically there. This urban development in this city looks like a forest for humans, and instead of trees, plants, and grass, there are just lots of businesses and concrete.
Cape Coral, Florida has the largest canal system of any city in the world
No, this is not the city’s skyline, but this is in fact a very extensive canal system. It seems as though Florida has turned into Google Maps by the looks of it. We can’t imagine the headaches these canals have caused and if you want to live by the water, it, unfortunately, means that this place is pretty unwalkable.
Moscow’s city skyline looks like an evil genius lair
Looks like Moscow is taking evil buildings to new levels. They look so creepy overlooking the city while being covered in smog. These buildings are just looming over the buildings in the foreground, almost making it appear to be an entirely different city. This is definitely an interesting perspective, and we’d be lying if we said it wasn’t weirding us out.
The town of Shimla, India doesn’t seem so congested at night
We have to admit, the colorful houses of this district make up for the fact that they are actually pretty crowded. We would rather look at the bright lights this town produces at night to forget about the congested conditions on this hill. The stacked houses may not be the most ideal, but it’s a lot better than other places we’ve seen.
This newly built housing in Russia looks painfully lifeless
If we were on the search for a new apartment, this apartment would be a hard no for us. This building really could use some color or some spunk to liven it up a bit. In an area in the world where temperatures can drop below zero, it’s essential that other things can warm us up, mentally speaking, and this building is not it.
Feeling crowded? This is a mega neighborhood in northern texas
Wow, now this is a densely packed cookie-cutter neighborhood if we ever saw one. This neighborhood looks like it can be its own city, it’s that huge. If it were us, we would choose to buy a home that isn’t surrounded by ones that look exactly like ours. To us, this seems like a horror movie waiting to happen.
The local municipality’s green area sign in Turkey is bigger than the actual green area
This is just sad on so many levels. Sadly, it doesn’t seem like this green area is very green at all. Sticking a ‘green sign’ doesn’t magically make this a green space. Unfortunately, with rapid urban development, sometimes public spaces can pay the cost, and that’s exactly what happened here. Perhaps with less development, this area could actually be green.
This apartment in soul Korea shows a very bleak reality
We don’t know about you, but we are getting Matrix vibes from this. Every single one of these apartments has a window unit, but we bet a central cooling system would probably work better. It’s just depressing to look at, and they are just a real eye sore. But at least these units are on the outside of the apartments as opposed to inside.
This playground in Siberia looks abandoned
Would you let your kids play on this playground? We aren’t even sure we would ourselves. Where is the slide? Where is the sandbox? This playground is missing essential items for the optimal playground experience. To us, this represents the epitome of urban hell.
A clash of two worlds in Budapest, Hungary
This is yet another example of a city where wealth and poverty are directly across from one another. On one side, you have run-down buildings, trash, and broken windows. On the other side, you have more urbanized development. While Budapest has a high standard of living, there are still a great number of people that live in poverty, which creates a huge contrast.
This Interchange in Kuala Lumpur is so intricate, it resembles an octopus
Now, this is what we imagine when we think of density. Maybe you also noticed the octopus shape when you first saw this image, or perhaps you saw a hotel resort with waterslides passing over a highway. There’s something about the design that’s kind of beautiful, but at the same time, we know missing an exit would result in a very bad day.
If you wanted to get home early from work, think again
This is the amount of traffic in Dhaka, Bangladesh. If you don’t get anxious just by looking at this photo, imagine being actually stuck in traffic here. The congestion wastes millions of working hours each day since the driving speed on average isn’t even seven kilometers an hour. Count us out, we’ll be walking if we ever go here.
This aerial shot of Hong Kong shows An infinite amount of concrete
There is something about this photo that’s scary, yet weirdly beautiful at the same time. If you squint your eyes, it almost doesn’t look real, but could almost appear to be a computer glitching. While it may look stunning at night with the bright lights, it’s probably dramatically less appealing during the day when you can see the sheer concentration of buildings.
These buildings in Russia form a giant maze
These buildings in Norilsk, Russia make it seem as if it would be impossible to make you’re way out if you got stuck. This town seriously looks like one of the hardest levels of a Tetris game, and a game we wouldn’t want to play, for that matter. Let’s hope that you are really good with directions if you do ever get stuck in this town.
The dense FOCSA apartment building in Cuba
This is probably one of the most boring apartment buildings we’ve ever seen, and we’ve seen some pretty bad ones. The FOCSA building is 121 meters high, making it the tallest building in Cuba. Believe it or not, once completed in 1956, this apartment was considered a national sensation and started the wave of construction of tall buildings in Havana.
THE APARTMENTS OVER THE CROSS BRONX EXPRESSWAY IN New york city
New York is known as the concrete jungle and it’s an accurate term. This is an apartment complex over the Bronx Expressway and there’s not too much stay about it other than your neighbors might be watching you. These apartments are so tight and close together, you might catch some eyes on you while you enjoy some sun.