Do Industrial Cities Need to Demolish in Order to Rebuild?
One of the most powerful visual legacies of the great recession and foreclosure crisis are the vacant properties left behind. The thousands of empty houses, vacant commercial buildings, and abandoned factories in older industrial cities like Detroit, Philadelphia, or Cleveland tell a story of what once was. Today in neighborhoods across the country, abandoned houses often become magnets for crime, fire, and blight. And residents who remain are concerned about further declines in already plummeting property values. Localities are finding that in addition to the lack of tax revenue, vacant and abandoned properties can also be expensive to maintain.
In places like Detroit and Cleveland, local leaders are turning to demolition as a solution to protect public safety and to destroy buildings that they feel are unlikely candidates for development. In such a weak housing market, these leaders say, repair costs would far exceed what the buildings are worth.
There are real tensions between strategies of demolition, preservation, systematic reduction in city services, redevelopment and greening.
Read more via Building Resilient Regions