June 28, 2012 by Zee
Instead of the city receiving value in a privately maintained or publicly owned property, no value is contributed AND the outlying community must also suffer.
Rehabbing and repurposing vacant lots for renewal is a temporary solution that could be a catalyst for a permanent one.
Yes a vacant lot is a receptacle for trash and rodents, yes a vacant lot attracts crime and unwanted activity.
A vacant lot can be a garden, it can be a place to display public art as murals or sculptures, and highlight beautification and uniqueness.
A vacant lot may be where the community gathers together to host a surveillance camera or maybe where the monthly yard sale or swap meet is held.
Whether an effort at horticulture, landscaping, playspace or something else; a vacant lot can be the vehicle by which someone finds themselves. Finds a place as a leader, a coordinator, even simply as a participant.
As a community of neighborhoods, we need to push brownfield clean up efforts; or at the very least air, soil and water testing kits and home testing kits for carbon monoxide, radon and lead.
There needs to be a ‘spot a lot’ program where land is repurposed temporarily until the owner can be contacted, a possibly an amnesty program that allows community programs and civic organizations to take over the land.