The City of Disappearing Rivers (2012)
18 rivers ? that is how many, at least theoretically, flow through Łódź, Poland?s third largest city.Together they add up to 126 kilometres long within the city limits ? there are not many cities around the world that can boast such a quantity of flowing water.And yet one in five inhabitants of the city cannot name even one of the rivers there. One in three suffers from a condition caused by the dry, polluted air.Because the majority of Łódź?s rivers have just disappeared.
Some of the rivers here literally disappeared.Others disappeared underground.There are still a few that have somehow survived, flowing somewhere, rather unconvincingly.Overgrown with bushes and reeds.They have allowed themselves to be forgotten.Even so, they chose the best possible fate.Or someone chose it for them.Or it just happened somehow.
Today Łódź is a city undergoing desertification, and from which, over the last 20 years, almost 130 thousand inhabitants have fled.The economic collapse after the painful transformation in 1989 is only one of the reasons.Others are the worsening living conditions.In the city, the atmosphere is a dry mixture of air, dust and fumes.Between the buildings, islands of heat form, where the temperature can be as much as ten degrees higher than in the greener parts of the city.