How Cities Are Transforming Vacant Space.

AuthorYeo, Sophie

Cities throughout the United States collectively contain much land considered vacant or abandoned. Bringing nature into these spaces offers a low-cost way to improve lives across the country. Many cities are already seizing this opportunity.

CHICAGO: The city is selling off its vacant lots to residents for $1. Residents can use these spaces as they would their own backyard, whether that's building a hot tub or a community agriculture project. Almost threequarters of people buying $1 lots are African American.

NEW ORLEANS: After Hurricane Katrina, large areas of low-income neighborhoods in New Orleans were abandoned, with an estimated 43,755 dilapidated properties and overgrown lots across the city. In 2014, the mayor launched a program, Fight the Blight, to improve the landscape in six neighborhoods. Researchers found that drug crimes subsequently reduced in these areas.


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