A reader passed along two site that may be of interest to other readers of this blog (if I have readers... sometimes I'm not sure...). They are sites for Baltimore and Philadelphia, other northeastern urban areas with vacant property problems.
First is from Open Baltimore, their map of vacant properties in the city of Baltimore. That map is based on a table of over 16,000 vacant properties. I love how it is a .gov site and that the city is putting the information out there so citizens and others can view it and make decisions. I just wish the table had a notice date so one can see how long or how new a property has been vacant. The site says the data is refreshed every two months or as needed, so it is hard to judge how up to date it is. Another thing I found was I cross checked with a real estate site and found obviously vacant houses for sale and looked at the Open Baltimore site and found close addresses which made me wonder if the Open Baltimore data was off by one house.
Second is for city owned vacant Philadelphia properties. Sigh. I wish DC had something similar, so DC, it's politicians and citizens could see clearly on a map. The FAQ for the site provides some insight on what the city's goals are and that clarity probably helps make this politically feasible. For one resident homeowners whose primary residence is on the block can buy an adjacent city lot (make the neighbors happy). There are also clear looking steps for developers, small and large. Lower down the list are options for folks who want to lease city property for urban farming or community gardening.