27 Mar '12, 11am

No vacancy: Unleashing the potential of empty urban land

No vacancy: Unleashing the potential of empty urban land

Tia Jackson’s family has lived on the same block of Halsey Street in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood for five generations. Kristen Rapp is a newcomer. Jackson is black. Rapp is white. In a part of town where the gentrification process has been grinding along painfully for years, the two might never have met if not for a sign on a fence on a vacant lot, left there by the members of a group called 596 Acres . Now Jackson and Rapp have keys that let them into that vacant lot at 462 Halsey . They are shoveling dirt and planting seeds. Together with a dedicated group of neighborhood residents, they are turning an abandoned scrap of urban soil into a garden. The sign that brought them together was part of a project to identify and map all city-owned vacant lots in Brooklyn, which add up to a mind-blowing — you guessed it — 596 acres in total area. To give you some per...

Full article: http://grist.org/cities/lots-worlds-unleashing-the-potent...

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