TRAVEL
08/22/2012 05:49 pm ET | Updated Aug 22, 2012

Is Ruin Porn Good For Tourism? (POLL)

In January, The Huffington Post introduced you to David Schalliol, the Visiting Assistant Professor of Social Sciences at the Illinois Institute of Technology, and his arresting photography blog on abandoned areas. His photographs are both upsetting and beautiful, and it's no surprise that it was one of the most popular posts of the year, with over 600 readers commenting on the issues presented in the post. Since the recession hit, we, as a society, have become more and more fascinated with the buildings and neighborhoods left abandoned in the financial crisis. Enter the "ruin porn" trend.

Travelers now visit cities like New York, Rio de Janeiro and Detroit scavenging for the unloved corners of the city that provide a raw look at society there. Old theaters, unused theme parks and forgotten train stations and airports are top on the list for tourists searching for an authentic experience, but does photographing urban decay actually aid the communities at stake?

Have you practiced "intellectual disaster tourism?" Does documenting the state of the urban decline help the aforementioned community? See David's photos, then take our poll and tell us below.

Abandoned Places From David Schalliol

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