Baltimore is considering reviving an old housing program to fix the problem of blighted homes.
It’s no secret that just like Detroit, Baltimore has faced some tough times in recent years. The population has been steadily decreasing since the 1950s, leaving the city with 16,000 vacant buildings. Four thousand of these were recently slated for demolition and replacement, as part of a $700 million overhaul funded by the state and city. The four-year plan would use $100 million to tear down rows of buildings, in favor of creating ‘clean and green’ lots, and pay out $600 million in subsidies to try and create new developments and growth.
One alternative to this plan comes from the Preservation Maryland and Baltimore Heritage organizations, who would rather keep the historic properties by reviving a program that allows prospective homeowners to buy blighted buildings for $1, and then commit to living in, and renovating them.
The reason this idea my be favorable over a complete overhaul, is that it allows the area to develop over a period of time, instead of just one, big fell swoop. As the homes are rejuvenated slowly, it creates opportunities for businesses to move in, changing the neighborhood over time, instead of removing and replacing it all at once.
My personal opinion is that the architecture of a city greatly impacts its identity, so preserving and keeping these historic homes and their architecture is preferable over building brand new high-rises or risky developments that may or may not succeed.[ via ] [ via ]