Recently, I was in Germany working with Under Armour to shoot one of their soccer players. The shoot was to take place in a studio which was located in a small business park in Duisburg Meiderich. We were headed there to techscout for the shoot which was the next day. Upon pulling up I noticed this enormous abandoned looking factory that sat adjacent to our studio. Now, I am somewhat of a junkie when it comes to urban exploration so it took everything for me to walk away from that amazing site without snapping some pics. Well, to make a long story short I managed to find a few hours later in the day and disappeared into the belly of that amazing site. To my surprise it wasn't abandoned. It looked abandoned but incredibly it was a public park designed to educate the present about the industrial past, rather than reject it. Landschaftspark Duisburg Nord was a coal and steel production plant which closed down in 1985. The polluted site was reclaimed and turned into the park in 1991 by architect Peter Latz.
My experience that day at Landschaftspark was short but sweet. Within that span of a few hours I must have seen a few hundred people enjoying the once derelict space. There were people exploring, picnicking, exercising, taking pictures, and some even acting out their cosplay fantasies. I can only hope that someone in the United States adopts this method of Urban Renewal. It just makes sense.