City Parks Association

Transforming America's Cities

Bowman Ann O’M. Urban Affairs Review. 2000, 35:559

City governments own or regulate vacant land and abandoned structures. In this article, the authors summarize new vacant-land survey data, examine the conditions and causes of vacant land, analyze city policy toward vacant land, and explore the possible interconnections among conditions, causes, and policies. They find that vacant land most often is associated with cities that have expanded their political boundaries, and the number of abandoned structures is related to a city’s change in population. Thus vacant land and abandoned structures are not interchangeable indicators of decay and destruction; rather, they have separate causes and need different policies.

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