I'm currently working as an Environmental Health Specialist, also working on my Masters in planning. My assigned area is in an area that is @50-60% vacant,obviously extremely economically depressed. Anyway, I've had debate in class and with neighborhood groups concerning the demolition of unsafe structures. Many neighbors prefer the houses to stay in the hopes someone will fix it up and move in. There's almost no chance of this, and the houses just deteriorate,draw homeless,drug dealers,etc. Some of the neighbors also complain of the broken tooth look. I contend that removing these houses opens up the neighborhood by providing light and green space in such a dense area (someone could always come in and build on the lot as well). It also seems to discourage some of the dealers because it's not so dark and dense.I have also hadd several neighbors buy the lots and put in gardens etc. I have more, but I just wanted to see what you guys thought.