There's a large abandoned town in British Columbia: Kitsault. It was built in 1979 as a mining town for molybednum but the price collapsed shortly after construction and the town was abandoned.

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Photo by Chad Graham

The Chinese version of this is to build cities for a million people: A friend of mine who lives partly in China told me ghost towns are popular with artists.

Photo by Michael Christopher Brown

The Japanese version of this is a densely-packed island city: Hashima ( It's the island base of the villain in Skyfall.

Photo by Alex Hoban

The Soviet version of this is Pripyat, Ukraine. Not one of its 50,000 residents remains but it still has the Chernobyl nuclear power plant:

Photo by Kadams1970

In 1944 the Nazis massacred everyone in the French town of Oradour-sur-Glane. Charles de Gaulle ordered that the town remain depopulated as a permanent memorial:

Photo by TwoWings