The ring of older suburbs around a city center that have fallen victim to blight and decay. "Ring" for short. Generally including run-down apartment complexes, empty strip centers, and malls that used to be hip, but are now in disrepair. Crime is normally rampant in the Ring.
The Ring differs from the "hood" or "ghetto" in that these terms usually refer to older, more established neighborhoods, usually closer in, but not necessarily.
In general terms, the Ring is always slowly moving in an outward direction as the center is gentrified and the suburbs age.
"Let's go to Sharpstown Mall." "Dude, no way, that's totally in the Ring." "The what?" "The Ring of Decay dude, what's wrong with you?"