Urban exploration


Industrial tourism and urban research - the study of territories and objects, industrial (civilian) or special (non-civilian, including military) purposes, as well as any abandoned (abandoned) structures in order to obtain mental and aesthetic pleasure or satisfy research interest. Industrial tourism has many features of the youth subculture and in English is called "urban exploration" (urban research), abbreviated as "urbex".


Types of industrial tourism and urban research

One of the most common types of industrial tourism is stalking (stalkering, stalking) - visiting abandoned (abandoned) objects and places. These can be abandoned residential buildings, abandoned areas and even cities (the so-called ghost towns: for example, Adular, Mokhovoe, Pripyat, Chernobyl, Kolendo, Kadykchan). Stalker campaigns are often associated with dangers (for example, the collapse of structures, radiation, security, asbestos, which was used for many engineering structures, and chemical pollution in general, can pose a threat). Since in most cases the purpose of such tourism is to obtain contemplative pleasure, many such researchers photograph objects and / or film videos.

Post-pilgrimage - visiting abandoned, desacralized objects of religious veneration. Forgotten temples are at the same time historical artifacts, unique architectural monuments, objects of religious veneration, witnesses of the change in the fundamental foundations of the worldview (from religious to atheistic, and then neutral secular). Such a mixture of various facts, attitudes towards them, emotions and experiences, when trying to rationally and creatively comprehend the experience obtained during the post-pilgrimage, can become a source of special experiences and sensations.

Infiltration is penetration into protected areas, existing industrial zones and zones not created for people to be in them. This type of industrial tourism is the most extreme and requires serious training, equipment and a high level of adventurism, as it is associated with serious dangers. Often such activities involve breaking the law, which sometimes only attracts adventurers more, and signs on signs like “no entry”, “restricted zone”, “no exit”, “fire exit”, “show a pass”, “danger, do not enter" or "stop, I'm shooting!" become direct instructions for action. The main goal of such hikes is usually to stimulate the adrenaline rush and get special mental satisfaction from visiting restricted areas.

Rooftop walks (roofing)
Roofing (from the English roof - roof) - climbing on the roofs of houses, as well as on other high-rise structures (towers, power line supports, etc.). This rather dangerous (for obvious reasons) type of tourism is distributed mainly in large cities. People who are fond of contemplating the views that open from the city roofs call themselves differently - "roofers", "roofers", "roofers", "roofers", etc. Among the cities of Russia, it is worth highlighting St. Petersburg as one one of the most attractive cities for roofing due to the planned development and regulations on the height of buildings, which allows the eye to cover large spaces.

Roofing can be divided into main categories:

Extreme roofing - climbing rooftops using fire escapes, drainpipes, ledges, etc., in order to conquer a non-standard or closed roof (which makes this type of roofing more like a type of infiltration);
Quiet roofing - visiting the roofs for the purpose of obtaining aesthetic pleasure - admiring the landscapes that open from a height. May be accompanied by photography, drawing, etc.;
Art roofing - roofing for the purpose of holding creative events: poetry, concerts, creating objects in the style of street art, etc.

Passive and commercial industrial tourism
Many people are far from the desire to actively explore objects and illegally enter their territory and are satisfied with the contemplation of industrial landscapes and objects of industrial architecture from the side or excursions to existing industrial objects. Special tours to different cities of the world are organized for them. In the Russian Federation, this type of tourism is poorly developed, in contrast to the countries of the European Union and North America, where it is very widespread.

There are also special tours for businessmen who are interested in the industry and are looking for a profitable investment in production. This type of tourism is also called industrial.

Today, the term "psychogeography" refers to the study of the exact laws and specific effects of the territorial environment, consciously organized or not, that affect the emotions and behavior of the individual. The term was proposed in 1953 by Ivan Shcheglov, a member of the Lettrist International, in his article The Code of Rules for New Urbanism. Students of psychogeography believe that the urban landscape, with which most people, willingly or unwillingly, often and for a long time, imposes a certain way of interacting with the environment - everyday routes, habitual feelings. The main method of such research is the so-called. "drift" (dérive) - a technique of rapid passage through a changing atmosphere, a means of subjective transformation of urban space. Its goals may be detachment from the usual motives for movement, exploration of the area, emotional disorientation of the participant.

In this context, urbanism should be considered as a love for urban landscapes, formed as a result of expansion, development, or vice versa, the decline of urban areas. Buildings of a certain architecture can become objects of special inspiration. For example, in Russia it can be architecture in the Stalinist Empire style, constructivism. Of particular interest to foreign tourists is the red-brick industrial architecture of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Many creative people are inspired by the views of power lines, railway junctions and depots, the atmosphere of sleeping areas, city wells, dead ends, strange and unusual places, roads that have not been used for a long time, and, in general, the unofficial life of the city. In the countries of the European Union, there are travel companies offering tours to unadvertised corners of European cities. Also, some "urbanists" are not indifferent to the Chernobyl exclusion zone.


Industrial (industrial) archeology

"Industrial archeology" as an academic subject explores the mutual influence of changes taking place in industry and technology, on the one hand, and society as a whole, on the other. Another task is to preserve material evidence of industrial development. There are departments of industrial archeology at universities abroad, for example, at the Michigan Technological University (USA) and at the University of Birmingham (Great Britain). Similar studies are also underway in the Russian Federation. In particular, at the Institute of History and Archeology of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences and at the Ural State Academy of Architecture and Art. It is clear that the field work of archaeologists is connected with expeditionary and tourist activities. Often, studies of archaeological layers in the center of megacities are associated with rescue excavations.

Popularity and development
In the early 1980s, the "industrial" musical style gained popularity, which includes such bands as Throbbing Gristle, Current 93, Einstürzende Neubauten, Coil, Nurse With Wound, etc., which used industrial noises as an essential part of the musical aesthetic. With the advent of video clips, the corresponding visual video sequence for such music also contributed to the popularization of the phenomenon.

In the USSR, a big jump in interest in the aesthetics of abandoned objects and industrial zones occurred after the appearance of the film "Stalker" by Andrei Tarkovsky, and the name "stalker" began to be applied to themselves by lovers of industrial tourism, although according to the film, Stalker is a guide through the Zone, and not her researcher, and in the book "Roadside Picnic" by the Strugatsky brothers, based on which this film was made, stalkers illegally enter the Zone in order to search for unusual artifacts, the so-called "sweeps", for their subsequent sale on the black market.

The lack of networking opportunities in the 1980s led to the isolation of those interested in this hobby, making it the lot of small groups that were on the periphery of public attention. Everything has changed a lot with the advent of the Internet, which made it possible to freely exchange information, unite and organize joint trips to hard-to-reach and distant objects.

A new wave of popularity in the West arose after the media paid attention to him. Recent television shows such as Discovery's Urban Explorers, MTV's Fear, and the Atlantic Paranormal Society's ghost hunt have fueled audience interest in the hobby. The feature film "Uncontrollable Extreme" (After..., 2006) depicts diggers who find themselves in an extreme situation in the Moscow metro. Urban studies featured speeches and exhibitions at the fifth and sixth Hackers on Planet Earth conferences, as well as numerous newspaper articles and interviews.

Another popularizer was the History Channel documentary series Cities of the Underworld, which ran for three seasons since 2007. The series showed little-known underground structures in remote places of the world and right under the feet of the townspeople.

The release of the computer game S.T.A.L.K.E.R., expected by many, has significantly increased the popularity of such tourism. in 2007. It is with her appearance that the word "stalker" becomes more common in relation to a person who is fond of industrial tourism. Prior to this wave of urban exploration, such people were more likely to identify themselves as explorers, industrialists, or diggers.

With the rise in popularity of the hobby, there has been a discussion about the impact of increased focus on urban exploration. People with intentions other than the urban explorer's unspoken rule of "Take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints" worry many property owners.




Histoplasmosis (Darling's disease) is a disease caused by the fungus Histoplasma capsulatum. The symptoms of this infection vary greatly, but the disease primarily affects the lungs. Sometimes histoplasmosis affects other organs, this is disseminated histoplasmosis, which can be fatal if left untreated. Histoplasmosis is common in AIDS patients due to their weak immune systems. Histoplasma capsulatum is found almost all over the world. It is endemic in parts of the United States, especially in states bordering the Ohio River Valley and the lower Mississippi River. Histoplasmosis is also common in South and East Africa. A histoplasmin skin test is positive in 90% of people living in areas where H. capsulatum is endemic, such as the eastern and central United States.


Lead poisoning

Lead poisoning (saturnism, from Latin saturnus (named after the planet) - lead) is the most common type of heavy metal poisoning. Usually the disease is observed in children from one to five years. Lead, as a rule, enters the human body by inhalation of lead-containing dust, soot and vapors, which causes psychotropic, neurotoxic and hemolytic effects. Once in the body, organic metal compounds are converted into inorganic ones, which leads to chronic intoxication. Poisoning is characterized by damage to all parts of the brain.

When working with lead, its ingestion leads to an increase in the concentration of this substance in the blood. Therefore, already in the 1950s, attempts were made to develop criteria that would allow, with the help of biomonitoring, to recognize the onset of the disease in its early stages. One of the diagnostic signs of lead poisoning is the so-called "lead border". Further development of science made it possible to formulate the requirements that are mandatory for the employer to fulfill, which are in the US standard for labor protection when working with lead. The concentration of lead and zinc protoporphyrin in the blood is strictly controlled.

Significant environmental pollution with lead occurred as a result of automobile engine exhaust, as lead compounds (tetraethyl lead) were added to fuel in order to increase its octane number. In Russia, leaded gasoline has been banned since November 15, 2002. MPC of lead compounds in atmospheric air is 0.003 mg/m³, in water is 0.03 mg/l, in soil is 20.0 mg/kg. Discharge of lead into the World Ocean - 430-650 thousand tons / year.

A link has been established between lead poisoning and crime rates.



Mesothelioma is a diffuse tumor that develops from the thin layer of tissue that covers many of the internal organs (mesothel). The lining of the lungs and chest wall are most commonly affected. The abdominal wall and less often the pericardium or scrotum are affected less frequently. Signs and symptoms of mesothelioma include shortness of breath due to fluid in the lungs, a swollen abdomen, chest wall pain, cough, fatigue, and weight loss. These symptoms usually come on slowly.



Silicosis is the most common and severe type of pneumoconiosis, an occupational lung disease caused by inhalation of dust containing free silicon dioxide. It is characterized by diffuse growth in the lungs of connective tissue and the formation of characteristic nodules. This foreign tissue reduces the ability of the lungs to process oxygen. Silicosis increases the risk of tuberculosis, bronchitis and emphysema. Silicosis is an irreversible and incurable disease, and exposure to quartz can contribute to the development of lung cancer. Silicosis refers to occupational diseases because of the clear relationship between the development of pathology and the working conditions of a particular person.

This respiratory disease was discovered in 1705 by Bernardino Ramazzini, who noticed the presence of sand in the lungs of masons. The name silicosis (silicosis, from Latin silex flint) was assigned by Visconti in 1870.

The disease is more often observed in miners of various mines (drillers, cutters, fasteners), foundry workers (sandblasters, choppers, core workers), workers in the production of refractory materials and ceramic products, and also in people who neglect personal protective equipment.

This is a chronic disease, the severity and rate of development of which can be different and are directly dependent on both the aggressiveness of inhaled dust (dust concentration, the amount of free silicon dioxide in it, dispersion, etc.), and on the duration of exposure to the dust factor and individual body features.

The content of silicon dioxide in quartz sand is 80-90%, while particles of 5-10 microns stay in the air for a very long time. Not only sandblasters are exposed to these particles, but also everyone who is in the area of ​​abrasive blasting. To control dust, the work place is sprayed with water, air filters are installed, air showers are used, and as the last and most reliable means, respirators are used.