A senior planner mused today that it might be better for the long term health of the city to bulldoze and remove all blighted, vacant buildings in the city rather than leave them standing and continue to be a saftey hazard. He noted that the vacant land would hold a lower value than the land with the house on it and eventually land values would get so low (by many blocks being vacant) that land price itself would spur some re-development in the city. The land would not become city owend, but would remain in private ownership.
I countered that we tried this 30 years ago nationwide and our fair city STILL has vacant lots in the old part of town that are not being redeveloped.
He also swears that what people really want is their own spaces.. their own yard, and no urban congestion. They don't want a shared park, they want their own little park (backyard). This is why the cities are loosing population again (like SF and BOS).
So Throbbing BrainTM, what is better for the long term health of a city vacant lots or vacant housing?