Flight Path

6 Causes for Why Some Cities and Towns End up Entirely Abandoned

Time, natural disasters, corruption — there are many reasons residents would leave a city. But what would it take to abandon a town completely?

A recent online post asks its members for suggestions on why this would occur. Here are some insights and ideas from the Internet’s creative thinkers.

“Maybe they exploited some resource that kept the city afloat, and when it ran out, the city died as a result,” our first commenter proposes.

1. The Resource Curse

“Loss of water source,” adds a contributor. In the past, water was extremely valuable, and drained water sources often left cities abandoned.

2. Drought

“I’d add a loss of food supply,” states the next person. “Cities typically import most of their food. If something cuts off that supply, people will leave and go where there is food available.” This problem is unlikely to affect America anytime soon.

3. Famine

The expansionism of late 19th and early 20th-century America meant that towns would disappear just as quickly as they appeared sometimes. “Happened all the time in the old West,” asserts the next commenter.

4. Loss of Purpose

“After the Romans left Britain and the Anglo-Saxons started invading,” explains a history fan, “the left-behind Romanized Britons abandoned many of their cities and fled west to get away from the invaders.”

5. A Hostile Invasion

“You could draw from real-life ghost towns and settlements that were abandoned. Maybe it was radiation or some other harmful environmental factor,” posits another observer.

6. Environmental Degradation

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