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Old 12-13-2010, 11:37 AM
 
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Boston does have a few blighted areas but, as other posters have noted, they are getting smaller by the day. And, it is interesting how the most blighted areas tend to be commercial, not residential, as in many other cities. To me, the most blighted residential areas are on the Dorchester/Roxbury border, along Quincy Street and in Dorchester, abutting Talbot Avenue. But, nothing even remotely resembles the pictures you've posted, the first of which looks like it's in St. Louis (??)
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Old 12-13-2010, 03:39 PM
 
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I lived in Roxbury and Dorchester ( Lowell and Brockton outside of Boston )in the past and I never saw any houses look like those photo in Boston.
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Old 12-13-2010, 07:56 PM
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Location: Western Massachusetts
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I think of all the northeastern cities, Boston has the most upscale look. Philadelphia has sections of cheap-looking homes together with abandoned homes. NYC has sections that look rather jarring looking but aren't abandoned. Actually, unlike most other cities NYC is at its population peak and experienced little population decline. I think massive immigration allowed NYC to escape a decline.

It's odd that Boston has no run-down or abandoned section given its population decline. I think part of it might due to family sizes becoming smaller or singles replacing families. So even if all the homes are occupied, each household has less people in it.

Interstingly, Manhattan's population peaked in 1920 (with 2.7 million) and has had very steep decline until recently. It lost about 39% of its population, yet very little of it looks decayed (though a few spots in Harlem used to). At its peak, Manhattan would have had a decent of 120,000 people per square mile or about 10x higher than Boston's current average density or 4x the density of Back Bay.
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Old 12-14-2010, 09:47 PM
 
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One should note that not too long ago this was not the case in Boston. For years, many areas of Roxbury/Dorchester, especially what is known as the dudley triangle, was blighted with urban decay.There were countless fires as many landlords who resorted to arson to collect insurance from worthless real estate. The large amount of vacant lots (something over like 1200) within these neighborhoods became dumping grounds where illegal garbage dumps were operating broad daylight! We can credit organizations such as DSNI in Roxbury with the improved conditions we see today. The organization of this group created a system in the area where we see models of planning that are driven by the residents. And I believe it is the first nonprofit agency that was granted eminent domain over abandoned land within its boundaries. The results are quite obvious if you drive around these areas today. Although still with plenty of work to be done, the conditions are miles ahead of what they were. Check this video out


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnHRo...yer_embedded#!
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Old 12-15-2010, 09:07 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
I think of all the northeastern cities, Boston has the most upscale look. Philadelphia has sections of cheap-looking homes together with abandoned homes. NYC has sections that look rather jarring looking but aren't abandoned. Actually, unlike most other cities NYC is at its population peak and experienced little population decline. I think massive immigration allowed NYC to escape a decline.

It's odd that Boston has no run-down or abandoned section given its population decline. I think part of it might due to family sizes becoming smaller or singles replacing families. So even if all the homes are occupied, each household has less people in it.

Interstingly, Manhattan's population peaked in 1920 (with 2.7 million) and has had very steep decline until recently. It lost about 39% of its population, yet very little of it looks decayed (though a few spots in Harlem used to). At its peak, Manhattan would have had a decent of 120,000 people per square mile or about 10x higher than Boston's current average density or 4x the density of Back Bay.
Population decline, at least with respect to Boston, is a relative term. It declined from 1950 to 1980 (as it did in all American industrial cities - including NYC), but has been rebounding since. From what I've read, Boston will have 2010 population of about 640,000 - 650,000 (up from a low of 589,000 post-war). So, that might account for some of the lack of blight. Also, much of Boston's serious decline took place up to the mid-eighties, and a lot of the burned-out/abandoned structures have long since been bulldozed. The post after yours about DSNI (not to mention other CDCs, like the Jamaica Plain NDC) gives a good overview of how the decline was reversed.

Last edited by rranger; 12-15-2010 at 09:18 AM..
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Old 12-15-2010, 09:28 AM
 
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Originally Posted by enpan13 View Post
One should note that not too long ago this was not the case in Boston. For years, many areas of Roxbury/Dorchester, especially what is known as the dudley triangle, was blighted with urban decay.There were countless fires as many landlords who resorted to arson to collect insurance from worthless real estate. The large amount of vacant lots (something over like 1200) within these neighborhoods became dumping grounds where illegal garbage dumps were operating broad daylight! We can credit organizations such as DSNI in Roxbury with the improved conditions we see today. The organization of this group created a system in the area where we see models of planning that are driven by the residents. And I believe it is the first nonprofit agency that was granted eminent domain over abandoned land within its boundaries. The results are quite obvious if you drive around these areas today. Although still with plenty of work to be done, the conditions are miles ahead of what they were. Check this video out


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnHRo...yer_embedded#!
Thanks for the link to the DSNI video. It's quite informative. BTW: The Kroc Center is almost done now and it is beautiful! For those who know Boston, it's on Dudley Street near Uphams Corner (Columbia Road intersection).
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Old 12-17-2010, 03:36 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque NM
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When I lived in Boston in the late 80's I rented a few apartments in buildings that should have been condemned!

There was speculation recently (I think it was in The Economist) that higher education in the US could be headed in the same direction as the automobile industry. If that happens then Boston may see a good deal more abandoned buildings.

Aha... here is the article.
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Old 12-17-2010, 04:11 PM
 
Location: Dallas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aries63 View Post
When I lived in Boston in the late 80's I rented a few apartments in buildings that should have been condemned!

There was speculation recently (I think it was in The Economist) that higher education in the US could be headed in the same direction as the automobile industry. If that happens then Boston may see a good deal more abandoned buildings.

Aha... here is the article.
Interesting article. Only thing is Ivy League really doesn't get its $ from the general populace these days. These have become the playpens for the princes and princesses from all the nations of the world. What do you think MIT's Sloan School of management is? A playpen for dumb royals who can't do anything more than be managers (bosses) which underwrites the actual smarties. No amount of money can make you a qualified nuclear physicist if you don't already got what it takes, but endowments from sheiks of arabia contingent upon Sally al-Abaq's admission to the MIT rubber stamp school for the intellectually mediocre yet politically connected assures those who can do the tough stuff have the money to conduct the research.
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Old 12-23-2010, 08:45 PM
 
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Other than the vacant lots mentioned previously Boston's inner city has never really looked that bad compared to other cities. Boston was one of the first American cities to undergo urban renewal. There are also very strict building codes, and a sizable chunk of the "ghetto" (the Mattapan neighborhood) was once suburban and still retains a bit of that look (not unlike parts of South Central LA).
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Old 01-03-2011, 02:37 PM
 
Location: Clinton Hill, Brooklyn
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I know Boston has to have hoods. Mabe nothing like NYC, Philly, B-more, or NJ but they do. I have and uncle who lives in georgetown but works in downtown boston, and one day he let me get the whip and i drove around and saw that Boston has grimy areas. They also have alot of Projects. I never knew Boston had projects.
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