What could we do with all of the materials sitting here, abandoned in the once-great houses of the city of Detroit? The empty houses, like Alzheimers sufferers, sit there, unable to speak, yet communicating volumes.
The embedded energy alone represents a vast energy sink. Would it be worth it, in terms of energy expended, to recover these materials? Or, is it more efficient to just let them go to ruin? Like an illustration in The World without Us, they are both troubling and fascinating.
On the website 100 Abandoned Houses, the photographer and web developer Kevin Bauman offers the photographs for purchase, with 30% of the profits going to Habitat for Humanity.
"According to the latest data, the number of vacant U.S. homes touched 18.7-million in the second quarter. That is a daunting figure, of course, but it is more fun to put it in context. Assuming four people per household, the U.S. currently has enough surplus housing to put the entire population of the U.K., with room left over for Israel."