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Old 08-10-2010, 06:11 PM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
4,484 posts, read 6,506,366 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AuburnAL View Post
Let nature take it back or let the building decay sufficiently such that it becomes economically wise for someone to buy the building and tear it down selling the salvage as they go. There's no reason for the government to just buy a bunch of abandoned and half built buildings willy nilly. Maybe some if they plan to build a park or something, but not every one in town.

Besides I imagine it would be quite fun to go exploring abandoned buildings that obviously had no owner who would care.
The importance of gov't taking vacant properties, is that they should have a plan to use the land, and guide the direction the abandonment goes, and keep it from being random.

In cities like Detroit, (and Youngstown, see my location) there are formerly urban streets with only one or 2 houses left BECAUSE there wasn't any government intervention.

In Youngstown, no one is forcing those few holdouts to move, so the city remains stuck with providing services to those streets. In my opinion, the city should either give the people those streets to maintain as they see fit. (like a big driveway - put a guard rail at one end to make the street useful only to the remaining residents) Or, the city should use eminent domain to move the people, tear down their house, and "close" that street.
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Old 08-10-2010, 06:18 PM
 
3,807 posts, read 4,440,085 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JR_C View Post
The importance of gov't taking vacant properties, is that they should have a plan to use the land, and guide the direction the abandonment goes, and keep it from being random.

In cities like Detroit, (and Youngstown, see my location) there are formerly urban streets with only one or 2 houses left BECAUSE there wasn't any government intervention.
Sounds like a good place to start a small farm so the locavores can have a more diverse diet. Or not. There are plenty of people who would like to live near (or in this case in a big city) without actually feeling like they're in a city. Close enough to enjoy the entertainment and work oppotunities, but far enough away that they're effectively out of the city when they're at home.

Quote:
In Youngstown, no one is forcing those few holdouts to move, so the city remains stuck with providing services to those streets. In my opinion, the city should either give the people those streets to maintain as they see fit. (like a big driveway - put a guard rail at one end to make the street useful only to the remaining residents) Or, the city should use eminent domain to move the people, tear down their house, and "close" that street.
Just deannex the places they feel are too expensive to keep. Then the folks can rely on county services or form their own town if they want to.
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Old 08-10-2010, 07:33 PM
 
8,269 posts, read 12,771,896 times
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Urban agriculture on demolished lots is nothing new, from the 19th century to the bare patches left by urban renewal. Perhaps, yet again, there are examples we can learn from the past:

The history of urban agriculture should inspire its future | Feeding the City | Grist
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Old 08-11-2010, 01:04 AM
 
Location: Bryte, CA
2,075 posts, read 4,271,427 times
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In 1999, 35 million small family plots produced 90% of Russia’s potatoes, 77% of vegetables, 87% of fruits, 59% of meat, 49% of milk — way to go, people! The Bovine
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Old 08-11-2010, 05:56 AM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
4,484 posts, read 6,506,366 times
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We do have some urban gardens/farms in Youngstown. Resettle Youngstown Ohio Blog Archive Urban Farm Update (http://www.resettleyoungstown.org/2010/05/18/urban-farm-update/ - broken link)
Lots of Green Update But, most of the land would require a lot of work to make it safe to farm. (hazardous materials like lead are a problem - you can see how that was handled in the second link)

You could de-annex the land, I suppose, but you end up with holes in the middle of the city. At least in Youngstown's case, the areas that would need de-annexed aren't at the edges of the city.
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Old 08-11-2010, 06:51 AM
 
2,864 posts, read 3,250,565 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AuburnAL View Post
Let nature take it back or let the building decay sufficiently such that it becomes economically wise for someone to buy the building and tear it down selling the salvage as they go. There's no reason for the government to just buy a bunch of abandoned and half built buildings willy nilly. Maybe some if they plan to build a park or something, but not every one in town.

Besides I imagine it would be quite fun to go exploring abandoned buildings that obviously had no owner who would care.
From living in an blighted(but not quite bad enough to tear down). Here are the problems with abandoned buildings and why it is so important for cities to quickly tear them down.This is one job you can’t leave to nature.

1. Going through a building the way you describe and esp. recycling it requires that the building have enough structural strength left to do it. However buildings can quickly become uninhabitable or downright dangerous to walk in. With no one to care for them things like broken windows, busted pipes, and leaky roofs do big time damage even the freeze thaw of winter takes it toll. If the house was an older well built house abandoned in good shape when it was left it might last three years. Sometimes some buildings can last for decades, but some places can be gone in months.

2. Abandoned buildings attract all sorts of crime and vandalism. Drug dealing, squatters(who are often drug additics). Children break windows, people break in to steal pipes and wiring. Even arson.

3. Rarely the decay of one building can endanger others(i.e. a House falling down on a lean or a building dropping bricks on to the roof of a good one).

I will take living next to an empty lot over living next to an abandoned building esp. for number two on my list. That can chase away any hope for some sort of stabilization (if not improvement) of the block. Heck even if you were low income and lived in a crime ridden area, you might choose a less crime ridden one if the house next to you got infested with drug dealers and you have to worry about your children getting shot on their way to school. Drug dealers on the other end of the block is better than next door.

It can be tough to jumpstart an area, but one way of doing so is for the government to take those lots. Sometime people buy an empty lot next to their house and garden on it or have a bigger yard. Sometimes new low income (i.e. junky housing) is built on the land but that is a better thing than a lot. This helps slow the rate of decay.

Sometimes the function of an area is long past. I used to live near an area that was an shopping district before the rise of malls and quite frankly it is overbuilt. There are plenty of stores on the first floor, perhaps storage on the second, but no one needs a building over three floors in the area. The only reason why thoose old buildings stand is because tearing them down and building something new is expensive. It will take some major gentrification and zoning law changes to reuse thoose places and more likely they would mostly be torn down instead. The area might have needed lots of doctor offices, dentist offices, lawyers and such when it was more dense but not now and no area is that dense outside of downtown.

What needs to happen is thoose areas that are bull dozed need to be secured so that the wooded areas don’t habor crime or turned into a park so that they are useful to the people. Also having large blocks of land can be useful when a builder or project comes up (you can put it there).
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Old 08-11-2010, 07:53 AM
 
1,378 posts, read 3,091,400 times
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The people running the meth lab might not take too kindly to people exploring and salvaging their place of business.


It seems like it would take a lot of effort and court intervention to make people move from neighborhoods that are 3/4 empty to create vibrant communitites. If a city says they want to shut down certain neighborhoods and move people, where are they going to go? Are they supposed to move into other abandoned homes? Will the city build new ones for them in whatever neighborhood the city decides it wants to keep?
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Old 08-11-2010, 08:48 AM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
4,484 posts, read 6,506,366 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LongtimeBravesFan View Post
The people running the meth lab might not take too kindly to people exploring and salvaging their place of business.


It seems like it would take a lot of effort and court intervention to make people move from neighborhoods that are 3/4 empty to create vibrant communitites. If a city says they want to shut down certain neighborhoods and move people, where are they going to go? Are they supposed to move into other abandoned homes? Will the city build new ones for them in whatever neighborhood the city decides it wants to keep?
They can move where ever they like. But, ideally, they would move into vacant homes in other more stable neighborhoods.

My current neighborhood is at a tipping point because, when people leave a bad neighborhood, they usually move to a neighboring suburb instead of moving to, and helping to stabilize, a good neighborhood like mine. My neighborhood is still mostly intact, but the number of vacant houses, and houses owned by slumlords is growing. This is made worse by the houses in foreclosure.

Not only do the banks that own these houses provide almost no maintenance while they own them, they also sell them at rock-bottom prices to get them off their books. Two houses on my street each sold for less than $10,000 in the last year or so. "Normal" people, (not slumlords) looking to buy a house, are scared away by these prices because they think there must be something wrong with the neighborhood to justify them.
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Old 08-11-2010, 09:33 AM
 
9,373 posts, read 15,100,649 times
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Perhaps examine the Bronx as an example. By the time I lived there in the early 80s, it had endured two decades of abuse including gangs, widespread crime, and arson. It looked bombed out. I reckon only Detroit was worse. They came up with many of the same ideas being touted here- evacuating the population, building green burbs in the middle of it (they actually did do this in one place), etc. Basically left for dead.

Yet today, many people are moving back there. Historic districts are being declared. Abandoned buildings renovated. As bad as the place has looked, those blighted buildings were solidly build, historical in nature, and can be inhabited again. The Bronx has a long way to go, but it is going.

Thus, I counsel letting the market decide. Seems better than bulldozing buildings with once and future character only to erect ugly buildings of questionable aethestics. Or touting schemes with frankly sound slightly removed from the Khmer Rouge.
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Old 08-12-2010, 07:46 AM
 
Location: Cincinnati
3,332 posts, read 5,214,788 times
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Moth - Your words ring true. Once these buildings are demo'd, that piece of history is gone and there is no getting it back. And not only is the history gone, but often an irreplaceable, high quality structure is also gone.
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