Just gonna do a little damage control here and add that the video is purely opinion. I did very little intense research, and depression is a mental illness not a characteristic of a city. I based my argument on some facts, but I'm sure you can argue that war torn cities like Damascus could be more 'depressing'. Sorry if the video came off as if I was spouting the gospel.
If you think you have found a more depressing city, comment. Just do not comment Detroit. Please.
It was my goal when making this video to decide which city is the most depressing (which in this situation is a synonym for depressing). This is obviously just an opinion, but I did put some research into this and I think that my answer is very reasonable.
Before we get into this, let’s take a look at the rules. I decided that a city cannot have fewer than 50,000 people I know that that isnt the official definition, but This takes a lot of remote settlements in places like Greenland out of the mix.
I decided to look at what factors cause unhappiness. I found this list, and while some factors have no relation to geography, two do: Inability to sleep or excessive sleeping, and Social isolation.
In order for a city to make it hard to sleep, it has to be very far north, or very far south. Cities inside the arctic circle experience the polar night, where the sun simply does not come up for days at a time. This has been known to cause insomnia.
In order for a city to cause social isolation, it needs to have a hostile environment. Luckily, most cities in the Arctic Circle check that box. It also has to be isolated from other cities, and inaccessible.
There are many scandinavian cities that have hostile environments, but these cities, such as Tromso (traum-suh) are tourist destinations and generally good places to live. They have high standards of living.
Next, we have to turn to Russia. Two cities caught my eye immediately: the coal mining town of Vorkuta and remote port Murmansk. However, coal mining has become unprofitable in vorcuteuh, so people are moving out at alarming rates. Plus, just look at this picture and tell me that does not look jolly. And being a port city, Murmansk naturally has contact with new ideas and people.
However, there is one city that I have left out.
(Papers please theme)
Norilsk. The Nickel mining city of 170 something thousand people is so hostile it seems like something out of 1984. No roads lead to Norilsk, and it is one of three large cities in the continuous permafrost zone that means that the land is unfarmable. There is one freight railway that leads to the city, but the only way out is an airport or a port 40 miles away that freezes over in the winter.
Norilsk enters continuous darkness for 45 days each year, and when people leave the city, they say that they are going to “the mainland”. the polar night syndrome is common in residents, you can probably figure out why.
It is also one of the most polluted cities on earth. Here’s a quick list of facts about norilsk’s pollution:
1 percent of global emissions of sulfur dioxide comes from Norilsk nickel mines
. It is so polluted that some people mine the soil for soot because it contains precious minerals.
In September 2016, the nearby river turned red.
The life expectancy of a worker in Norilsk is 10 years lower.
A study done by Boris Revich showed that blood illnesses were 44% higher, nervous system illnesses 38% higher, and bone and muscle system illnesses 28% higher among children in Norilsk WHEN COMPARED TO OTHER CHILDREN IN SIBERA.
In any other city, people might protest these terrible, polluted conditions. But in Norilsk, the income for nearly everybody comes from one company: Norilsk Nickel. Any protestors would be fired, because even if you do not work in the mines, Norilsk Nickel also owns nearly all businesses in town. And the Russian Government has no plans to step in, because this company is a cash cow. Norilsk Nickel is 2% of the Russian GDP. In comparison, the entire city of San Francisco is 2% of the US GDP.
The city has a depressing past as well: it was built by 500,000 gulag prisoners working under starving conditions throughout the month long days and nights. Of which eighteen thousand died. The most obvious relic of this era can be found all over the city: the stalinist, utilitarian architecture of nearly every building in the city.
But hey, they painted the city bright colors so it can’t be that bad right?