Tag Archives: urban decay

Roads to nowhere: how infrastructure built on American inequality | Cities | The Guardian

Abandoned properties in Baltimore’s Oliver neighbourhood

Where to build a freeway became not only an economic decision, but also a moral one – a chance to uplift and sweep clean America’s ghettos. But were they ghettos?

Source: Roads to nowhere: how infrastructure built on American inequality | Cities | The Guardian

Review: Tong Lam’s ‘Abandoned Futures’ is a Compelling Visual Journey into Postindustrial Decay – Urban Ghosts

Abandoned Futures 2

Through a series of short essays and 169 eerily sublime photographs, Lam transports the reader to a variety of modern wastelands across the continents, from the crumbling Rust Belt cities of the United States to Europe and the emerging industrial ruins of East Asia.

via Review: Tong Lam’s ‘Abandoned Futures’ is a Compelling Visual Journey into Postindustrial Decay – Urban Ghosts.

Abandoned homes are the future: Imaginative ideas turn blight into beauty – Salon.com

Abandoned homes are the future: Imaginative ideas turn blight into beauty

The first question is how a city can move these vacancies into the hands of owners who are willing and able to repair, build and improve the sites. The second question is what to do when no such owners exist. On both counts, American cities are putting forth a variety of answers, from dollar homes to sprawling urban farms. At the end of the line, they hope, is a revitalized urban landscape. It may not look much like what came before.

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At the center of the vacant property renaissance is the land bank, a city authority that can take control over thousands of abandoned homes and turn them into something the community needs, housing or otherwise. Michigan has dozens of land banks. In Cleveland, the Cuyahoga Land Bank demolished its 2,000th property last month. Chicago and Philadelphia are on the verge of having land banks of their own.

“In the past 24 months alone, five states have enacted comprehensive land bank legislation,” says Frank S. Alexander, a professor at Emory Law School in Atlanta who helped write those laws. The land bank concept has an appeal that transcends geographic and economic borders. ”New York, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Missouri, Nebraska. What do those states have in common? Absolutely nothing.”

via Abandoned homes are the future: Imaginative ideas turn blight into beauty – Salon.com.

Youngstown News, Unfinished housing demolition merely recycles urban blight

By most accounts, the city of Youngstown can take pride in its smashing success in clearing dilapidated, vacant, blighted and dangerous housing. More than 3,000 such homes have come tumbling down over the past three years.

On the surface, that sounds like herculean progress. But given the monumental scope of housing eyesores in Youngstown — some 5,000 homes remain vacant and in varying stages of decay — and given the continuing chorus of criticism over the speed, priorities and quality of demolition, clearly the city has its hands full to ensure the momentum of that top priority does not falter and that its contractors complete their work fully and safely.

Most recently, the city has heard legitimate grumbling from some residents that a few demolition contractors have left projects unfinished and therefore potentially more dangerous and more ugly than the original blight.

Read the rest via Youngstown News, Unfinished housing demolition merely recycles urban blight.

‘Detropia’ takes us inside the lives of people living among the ruins | Grist

Detropia’s message echoes beyond the Motor City, and Ewing hopes Americans across the country can learn from it. “A DIY attitude is crucial. A sense of getting involved in one’s community and not standing on the sidelines is essential,” she says. “Pay attention to our trade policies. Vote with knowledge.”

 

via ‘Detropia’ takes us inside the lives of people living among the ruins | Grist.

Grandeur Lost: The Modern Ruins of Abandoned Detroit | WebUrbanist

Detroit is arguably one of the most fascinating modern cities in the world. This is thanks to the city’s unique balance between its former identity as a manufacturing mecca and its current state of sectional abandonment  and iterative renewal. It is neither deserted nor wholly occupied, but exists in tension between destruction, creation and everyday living, with beautiful stories on all of these fronts. French photographers Yves Marchand  and Romain Meffre saw the abandoned parts of this compelling urban landscape as no less fascinating than the ruins of ancient civilizations and set out to document it in their 2010 book The Ruins of Detroit.

Despite the empty neighborhoods, abandoned buildings and crumbling structures – or perhaps because of them – Detroit still possesses a kind of indomitable magic. The city exists in a state of flux, balancing somewhere between its former glory, its current semi-abandoned status, and pockets of fresh new life and creative directions springing up from the ashes.

The city, so rich with history both industrial and individual, was once the fourth largest in the United States. It housed some of the country’s brightest engineers and most promising entrepreneurs. The city grew and its residents continued to expand their living areas into planned suburbs.

But the automobile industry which had such a large part of the city’s early days also proved to play a part in its undoing. White middle-class residents used those automobiles to move out of the inner city and into their new suburbs. Segregation increased steadily until the violent race riot in 1967.

This article is amazing! Read the whole article via Grandeur Lost: The Modern Ruins of Abandoned Detroit | WebUrbanist.