It's interesting that just three decades after Pripyat was abandoned because of the Chernobyl disaster, the forest has already reclaimed the city.

Don't let anyone convince you that reforestation is difficult. It'll happen all by itself, if people allow it to.

Also, I kinda love the aesthetic. I wonder if maybe the buildings even help the trees by giving them shelter they wouldn't otherwise have. It'd be interesting to see if climax species start to regrow sooner in places like this.

@InvaderXan this reminds me of some posts I've been seeing around calling for hopeful sci-fi futures where nature is thriving (which I am 100% for btw).

These images are just gorgeous.

@InvaderXan a fact i think is interesting: most eastern bloc prefab apartment block cities like this were purposely built around existing vegetation - so if they had some old, taller trees, they'd sometimes alter their construction plan to have them in courtyards etc., so that when people move in they already have some greenery around. i think having native plants there already instead of ornamental plants might possibly have added to the speed and extent of reclamation.

@aurora Oh, that *is* interesting. And a much better way to build things, I think. It always makes me sad when people cut down trees to make way for construction, and then don't even build where the trees used to be. And then plant more trees to be decorative! Makes no sense!

Yes though, ranting aside, that likely helped by giving the forest a head start...


I spent quite a lot of time living in Eastern Bloc but haven't really noticed such a careful design feature. Trees were usually the same age as the blocks.

@InvaderXan I have to wonder about the ecology of Chernobyl. There's radioactive contamination but plenty of wildlife.

@InvaderXan This looks beautiful! I would like to propose that this should be a design decision we make when building cities, without radioactive contamination!

it is good news to know that the earth will survive us

@InvaderXan It is gorgeous I wish one day cities will be full of green just like this.

@neauoire @InvaderXan If you go there during summer, you won't even realized you had entered a city at all until you reach square. It's almost impossible to see through the forest

@InvaderXan If you don't mow your garden over summer it gets half reclaimed, and that's likely a random slab of brought in turf stuck on top of random dirt.

Shit will grow if you don't stop it, and the people who know that are the same people who claim nature won't reclaim everything.

@InvaderXan @gryphon have you read The World Without Us? It's a cool examination of how quickly nature works.

@InvaderXan this reminds me a lot of the Japanese anime artist Tokyo Genso's work, with one crucial difference: his work is futuristic, but this is the here and now.

@ump40 @InvaderXan what, you mean we can't have new forests installed by the next quarterly report :akko_aaa:

Well, it's official. Radioactive wastelands have more greenery than the suburbs of the expensive city I live in.

Not sure if this is cause for despair or hope...


Also: don't buy into the Greenpeace scare stories about half of Ukraine being like post-apocalyptical forbidden zone. There's plenty of research into how the exclusion zone became a paradise for biodiversity and wild life. I was just planning a trip with kids to Pripyat last spring, unfortunately the pandemic happened...

@InvaderXan sometimes, but this is going to depend on local climate. It seems harder in China?

I’m reminded of the “it was raining on planet Mongo” problem in science fiction where we pretend that an entire planet is the same. Ice planet, desert planet, forest planet.

@skybrian @InvaderXan Came to this thread to say this. Climate in Belarus is very vegetation friendly: abundant water, hot summers, mild winters, extreme weather events are still pretty rare.

Lots of places on Earth are not going to be able to recover on their own like that just because there's not much fresh water to begin with and deforestation makes the land unable to retain what little precipitation it gets.

Sign in to participate in the conversation
Writing Exchange

The social network of the future: No ads, no corporate surveillance, ethical design, and decentralization! Own your data with Mastodon!