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the failure of urban renewal - vacant land Urban renewal policies have had and are still having devastating effects on our city. Urban renewal plans are adopted under the assumption that by clearing so-called blighted neighborhoods and creating vacant, developable land, private redevelopment would occur on its own. And while this assumption proved correct in many cases, it did not in others. Instead of transforming “blighted� areas into more healthy, liveable, and profitable new ones, urban renewal plans often created the blighted conditions they set out to eradicate. Some cleared areas did not attract the attention of developers and many sites lie vacant for years before any development takes place. The map to the right shows the extent to which land cleared through urban renewal is still vacant in 2017. The percentage of vacant land within urban renewal plans varies and some neighborhoods are affected more than others. In Arverne and Edgemere, Queens, for example, almost 40% of the two urban renewal areas adopted in 1968 and 1979 are still unused today. Throughout the city, more than 250 acres of urban renewal land are still vacant today, equal to about half the size of Prospect Park and a third of Central Park.

VACANT LAND WITHIN URBAN RENEWAL AREAS DEVELOPED URBAN RENEWAL LAND

1 7 SOURCES: maps and calculations based on data from Urban Reviewer and ACS 2015

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New York City Atlas of Urban Renewal  
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