But in some cases, the opposite happens - and a former development is slowly reclaimed by nature.
That's exactly what's happened at this site in Sheffield.
What used to be a car park and tennis courts in Ecclesall has been turned back into a grassy park area - but there are still signs of what came before.
The street furniture dotted around the site, such as One Way signs on trees and a rusting tennis court slowly being overtaken by weeds, lends the site a post-apocalyptic feel, as nature slowly reclaims the land for itself again.
Do you know somewhere like this? Suggest it for our Abandoned Places series - tweet @yorkshirepost or @sheffieldstar