EXPLORING GERMANY'S FASTEST SHRINKING CITY
'Since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 Hoyerswerda, once a model industrial city of the communist-era, is left an empty shell as residents depart the city for opportunities elsewhere in Germany.'
An old restaurant on the outskirts of town that has been transformed into a home. All the surrounding apartments have been demolished.
Apartment complexes built to keep up with the fast growing population of Hoyerswerda during the GDR. These buildings have been renovated by adding color and railings to make them more attractive to future residence.
The average population age for Hoyerswerda is 54. Social services and funding are gear towards the aging population causing a strain on services for the younger population thus forcing students to move to nearby cities like Berlin and Dresden for opportunities.
Paint peeling from the wall of an empty apartment complex. The apartment was filled with families and workers from the glass factory but when it closed everyone moved to other places leaving the small community empty.
The main walking street in the old town of Hoyerswerda.
A young boy plays in the sand at a local playground. Hoyerswerda has plenty of playgrounds but most have just a few or no kids playing in them.
Plants in the window of a home in the old town of Hoyerswerda.
Empty neighborhood playground.
A young boy plays alone in an open field.
A cardboard cutout sits in the window of a home in a village on the outskirts of Hoyerswerda. The village is scheduled to be demolished so that the mining company, Vattenfall, can begin mining coal where the village stands.
The coal company has built a duplicate town 6 miles from the original town and use the cutouts to attract potential residence.
Wild weeds grow in the streets of an abandoned apartment complex.
The last building structure that stands on the outskirts of town. This building has on tenant and is scheduled to be demolished. (2014)
An apartment complex being demolished. The government has taken steps to reduce the amount of resources and money by demolishing buildings with little to no residence forcing people to relocate in more expensive apartments closer to the center of the city.
An old painting of Mickey Mouse painting on the wall of what was a child's room. When the nearby glass factory shut down the residences moved leaving the neighborhood abandoned.
Taped mailboxes showing the amount of empty apartments inside of an apartment complex.
A broken yard gnome.
An empty desk inside of the old glass factory outside of Hoyerswerda.
Panoramic of brick and glass piles inside of the shut down glass factory.
Closed brown coal mine.
Vattenfall, a Swedish mining company, Coal mining ground outside of Hoyerswerda. Most of the mines are owned and operated by Vattenfall.
Vattenfall provides jobs to these areas but they also have forced many villages around Hoyerswerda to abandon their homes in order to gather coal under the villages.
Outside of the old glass factory.
Abandoned mining quarry.
Broken glass from an abandoned home across the street from the closed down glass factory. When the factory closed the neighborhood emptied as everyone migrated to Dresden and Berlin for better job opportunities.
Inside of the old brown coal factory.
Surveillance and ticket machines at the Hoyerswerda train Station.
Old newspapers lay in the tall grass outside of an abandoned community.
Parking Lot Clock.
Empty roundabout and directions.