10 Aug '11, 12pm

How and Why to Re-use Empty Urban Lots - @Grist

Restoring a vacant lot in Albany, N.Y. Photo: B Campbell Vacant lots are the scourge of cities around the world, and the recession has only exacerbated the problem. The pattern is one oft repeated: A person vacates a house or an elderly individual dies. Their survivors, if they have any close by, may not pay the outstanding property tax bill, either by choice or lack of financial options. Eventually the house falls into disrepair, until one day it's either bulldozed or burns to the ground, either by accident or arson. Regardless of the exact process, the outcome is always the same -- an empty lot overgrown by weeds. Cities spend big money to first tear down decrepit houses and then mow the resulting empty lot. But they can only do that for so long before the expense becomes too great. Cleveland, for example, spends $3.3 million a year to keep the grass on over 20,000 vacan...

Full article: http://www.grist.org/cities/2011-08-10-no-vacancy-empty-l...

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