Industrial Ghetto

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A slum district taken over or built around a nearby industrial district. The setting is often badly polluted and crippled by poverty, and/or the place is nearly all metallic due to all the leftover scrap metal and the proximity to the industrial machinery.

A protagonist might try to help the locals escape from living terribly here, but more often it simply serves as another backdrop in a Crapsack World or a more technologically advanced Empire, where there is little the protagonists can do but to move on forwards in their adventure. If the Industrial Ghetto is a recurring setting in the story, it's likely the protagonist is an Anti-Hero who will commit wrongdoings to get farther ahead than the rest, even if it's only going to be slightly better for them.

Although this is often a Dystopia, it can be Truth in Television, as industrial districts were often close to where the poor lived (likely so they could get to the factories faster, also most homeowners would rather not have them in their backyard). Cyberpunk stories taking place here are going to rain.

Often overlaps with a Wretched Hive, City Noir.

Compare Nightmarish Factory, Polluted Wasteland.

Not to be confused with Sci Fi Ghetto.

Examples of Industrial Ghetto include:

Anime and Manga

  • Pokémon (anime) - Gringey City is heavily polluted and nearly abandoned due to the over-construction of seemingly automated factories, with barely any people or Pokémon around. The local Muk and Grimer eventually invaded and overran the power plant, shutting off all the electricity in the city.



  • The Sprawl of William Gibson's Sprawl Trilogy.
  • The Valley of Ashes in The Great Gatsby.
  • Subverted in Ruined City by Nevil Shute; the eponymous city used to fit the "heavily polluted" part of this trope and wasn't an especially attractive living environment by many standards, but the workers were unionised and the pay and conditions were fairly good. It only became a true ghetto when the Great Depression kicked in and the shipyard went out of business. The protagonist actually notes the lack of pollution, and describes the place as being "clean as a washed corpse".

Tabletop Games

  • The vast majority of Salt Lake City in Deadlands, to the point it is often called "The City o' Gloom" and the locals wear bandanas and breathing masks to survive.

Video Games

Real Life