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Old 11-26-2010, 08:45 PM
 
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I'm near Boston but not actually in Boston so I'm not familiar with the entire city.

A lot of major cities around the united states (won't mention any names) have lots of real run-down areas, like lots of boarded up buildings, burned out buildings, burned down collapsed houses that are left in ruins and not bulldozed.








Are there any areas in Boston like this? If not, how did Boston avoid the type of Urban Decay seen in many other cities whose population declined? I was reading that Boston's population declined from 800,000 in 1950 down to 589,000 in 2000, -26.5%. That's similar to Philadelphia, although about half the decline % of Cleveland and Detroit. (I got my numbers here: http://eh.net/encyclopedia/article/S...an.Decline.doc first table down)

Does Boston have any visible signs of economic distress? Building stock decaying? Abandoned buildings and homes?

I'm interested in what people think of this.
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Old 11-26-2010, 09:18 PM
 
Location: Boston, MA
1,684 posts, read 3,204,770 times
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Whoa! Those are some really decrepit buildings. Where did you take those pictures? Detroit? Buffalo? Newark? Boston has not nearly anything that blighted. We do have grass strewn lots and boarded up houses in some of our tougher neighborhoods but nothing quite like a house about to fall on itself. Long story

Boston did experience a period of urban decline between 1950 and 1980 when some 300,000 people left the city for the suburbs and elsewhere. However, the city actually slowly started to gain population from 1980 onwards. The 1980 census recorded 562,000 people, the 1990 census 574,000 people, the 2000 census as you said 589,000 people and now our mayor is convinced that we went above the 600,000 mark this year.

Boston is getting built up, revitalized, and filled up, in fact I don't think you'll find any neighborhood that is not becoming crowded and definitely no urban prairies the those in Midwestern cities. Back 20 years ago, there used to be many more abandoned and boarded up buildings and there still are but by and large, many of them are either getting torn down and replaced or renovated. Some once dangerous and run down neighborhoods have become wholly gentrified even. Much of this lies in the strength of the biotech, higher ed, and services economies that now keep Boston alive.

I hope this answers part of your interest.
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Old 11-27-2010, 03:09 PM
 
Location: Dallas
4,625 posts, read 8,528,280 times
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Looks like Detroit to me. Detroit is largely decimated - I've seen it myself. Boston is absolutely nothing like that - the complete opposite. You will find a few buildings in a few residential neighborhoods that still suffer blight, but not that much. None at all in downtown.

Boston's population density is over 12K per square mile with high property value. That means every space is worth money so few are left to neglect. When I first arrived in BOS in 93, I bussed, biked, and walked all over the whole city. If I were to catalog the amount of decrepit buildings or empty lots that have been since recovered, I'm sure it would be in the hundreds - and that's just of what I know. Even in Boston's toughest neighborhoods, blight is limited, and it is more pervasive in the commercial areas than in the residential. I'm specifically thinking of places like Blue Hill Ave and Dudley. Driving up BHA, one might squirm a bit at some of the empty or burned out storefronts. But driving into the side streets, you may be surprised to find some lovely leafy neighborhoods. Some of the prettiest places are in the Roxbury hills. A friend from NOLA was astounded to see the decent condition of the "projects" in the South End. A Lady I met from PHL told me she was dazzled by how "upscale" Boston was.

The only spots in BOS that are truly blighted to my definition are not residential neighborhoods, but industrial. Those are South Bay and part of south Boston along Colony and the west part of the Seaport. It's just old nasty warehouse areas that really need to either clean up or be cleaned out. That process is under way, but as most things in BOS, it's not likely to happen overnight.

No, Boston is luckily a very healthy city that didn't take the huge tumble many other US cities took. FYI, I read the 2010 population of BOS is 623K.
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Old 11-29-2010, 12:06 AM
 
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actually Boston's population is around 645k at this point. That figure will probably continue to grow. I believe this data comes from the latest census. It'll be interesting to see if it can pass it's all time high population of around 800k back in 1950.
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Old 11-29-2010, 09:30 AM
 
Location: Boston
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its because people actually want to live in downtown boston, unlike detroit...
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Old 12-01-2010, 09:57 AM
 
Location: Boston
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I agree with the others, there are no areas in Boston that could be generally described as blighted. There are blighted parcels here and there, but nothing widespread. And the population number as of 2009 is 645,000, which means we probably grew by about 10% in the past decade. That is a tremendous rate for an old Northern city. Growth like that doesn't leave room for blight.
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Old 12-01-2010, 01:38 PM
 
1,690 posts, read 3,210,291 times
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Let's see what the census says. The interim estimates are always optimistic. Each time when the census numbers come out, city officials are disappointed and vow to have the official tally reconsidered. Last time (2000) Menino was confident of 600,000+ and had to settle for 586K. What about the 1950 to '60 tumble? From 802,000 to 697,000 as I recall (useless bits of trivia i know). Humbling and at the time there was nothing like the blight shown in these pictures to explain it. What does explain it is a drop in the household density--people were doubled up in the available housing in the years after World War II. By 1960 lots had found new housing outside city limits, and the suburbs are still full of the ranches and split levels of those years that received people leaving the three deckers of boston. Another thing: gentrification doesn't necessarily mean higher pop. In Charlestown, North End, South End, and elsewhere, it has brought population decline as old buildings that were once full of poorer families or full of single-room occupants now have gay couples, other childless adults, or very small families occupying the buildings. If gentrification brings lots of new construction as well as rehabilitation and repair of older buildings, then population will increase but in Boston and other places the more clout these historic neighborhoods get, the harder it is for developers to build new buildings because people want the look and feel of the neighborhood to stay the same.
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Old 12-01-2010, 06:01 PM
 
Location: Maryland not Murlin
8,185 posts, read 21,737,838 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nate14ri View Post
its because people actually want to live in downtown boston, unlike detroit...
People don't live in downtown Detroit because it is just not very residential. There are a couple upscale condos/apartments, though. Also, when people talk about Detroit, they are talking about the city proper. It would be like discussing Boston, but leaving Quincy, Newton, Cambridge, Summerville, etc. out. Detroit still has many nice suburbs, communities, and neighborhoods. Heck, some of the richest suburbs in U.S. are of Detroit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HenryAlan View Post
I agree with the others, there are no areas in Boston that could be generally described as blighted. There are blighted parcels here and there, but nothing widespread. And the population number as of 2009 is 645,000, which means we probably grew by about 10% in the past decade. That is a tremendous rate for an old Northern city. Growth like that doesn't leave room for blight.
Boston itself has a small footprint, yet a large population. Real estate is just in too high of a demand to let any of it sit and rot.


As the OP pointed out, those pictures could be anywhere USA.
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Old 12-03-2010, 08:43 PM
 
517 posts, read 745,806 times
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Default Boston Hoods

Boston back in mid 1900's was all white people and jews. After slavery was abolished in the North , the black population began to increase as many fled the south for jobs up north.

For many years they were mistreated and not given equal opportunities as their white counterparts. After a 3-4 day riot there came few changes .

If you research the " Boston Ghetto Riots" of the 1960's you will see why the Boston was declared a state of emergency for 3 days and needed to bring in the US National Guard.

These riots left the city devasted and completely ravaged the area's Roxbury , Mattapan & Dorchester neighborhood and displaced many.

Take a trip down Blue Hill Ave , Warren St. in Roxbury , or Talbot Ave in Dorchester and you will see that these communities never really got back on their feet.

This riot burned cars , set houses on fire , and defaced stores and businesses.

These days if you wanna go to the " HOOD" go to :

Intervale St. in Dorchester

Harvard St. in Mattapan/Dorcherster

Dudley St. in Dorchester

Warren St. in Roxbury ....

take a stroll near these areas and see how the effects are still in place many years after the fact.
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Old 12-04-2010, 07:25 AM
 
Location: Detroit's Marina District
970 posts, read 2,540,077 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Union Thug View Post
I'm near Boston but not actually in Boston so I'm not familiar with the entire city.

A lot of major cities around the united states (won't mention any names) have lots of real run-down areas, like lots of boarded up buildings, burned out buildings, burned down collapsed houses that are left in ruins and not bulldozed.








Are there any areas in Boston like this? If not, how did Boston avoid the type of Urban Decay seen in many other cities whose population declined? I was reading that Boston's population declined from 800,000 in 1950 down to 589,000 in 2000, -26.5%. That's similar to Philadelphia, although about half the decline % of Cleveland and Detroit. (I got my numbers here: Urban Decline (and Success) in the United States | Economic History Services first table down)

Does Boston have any visible signs of economic distress? Building stock decaying? Abandoned buildings and homes?

I'm interested in what people think of this.
Well, I can't imagine Boston having any areas like that.

But, that IS Detroit. I live on Detroit's East Side, and drive past the homes in the 3rd photo almost every day. The first photo may be somewhere else, but the 2nd and 3rd are definitely Detroit.
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