Can We Fix American Cities by Tearing Them Down?

Urban Decay

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan held a sidewalk press conference last week in Baltimore’s Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood. He promised to revitalize the city by spending $75 million to tear down 4,000 vacant houses.

“Fixing what is broken in Baltimore requires that we address the sea of abandoned, dilapidated buildings that are infecting entire neighborhoods,” he said.

Then the yellow paw of a Komatsu excavator ripped the face from a nearby row house, and Baltimore joined a growing club of declining U.S. industrial hubs that have decided they have more housing than their populations can support. The logic is that removing blighted sections of the city will help the larger body thrive, eventually clearing the path for redevelopment. The hard part is conceding that some areas are beyond short-term redemption.

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1 thought on “Can We Fix American Cities by Tearing Them Down?”

  1. That means you are spending 18,750 dollars per building to demolish the building and basically make vacant lots out of the previous flea-infested, rodent-infested properties with bad electrical and bad plumbing(most likely). The bad electrical is a time bomb waiting to go off and create a massive fire in the district.
    The rodents will most likely find a better house to live in. Perhaps yours . . . Any where that a pet resides and open food is left around. Small rodents are known to squeeze through the space of a dime. Or even under a door.

    Not sure about the fleas if any but they have a survival ratio that would make them right at home on a foreign planet like Mars. They are difficult if not impossible to get rid of once they infest a building without a lot of harsh chemicals.
    There is a possibility of graft here as well. The vacant land may be put to good use by other businesses such as casinos, night clubs, restaurants, etc.
    All for 18,750 dollars. Not a bad deal really. Especially if the land gets put to use for other purposes.
    What other communities often do is sell the property really cheap with the provision in the contract that the new owner invest money to fix the place up. Usually to the tune of at least 6,000 dollars.

    The poor are the real losers here. The poor people that cannot afford decent housing anywhere and are forced by financial concerns to live in these hovels.
    Or to hitch hike and break in and then not pay anyone anything to live there.
    Police get complaints of homeless people breaking in and living there. The drug lords use places like this to do business on occasion.
    There is nothing to confiscate if they are caught.
    Given 18,750 dollars per building what could be done to rehabilitate the building? To make low low cost housing available? That would require leadership. It would require budget management. It would required skilled trades willing to volunteer to do the labor of replacing the faulty utilities and make them sound and safe for people. Materials are not cheap to replace wiring and plumbing even if we could get the people to work for free to do so.

    People often bring their baggage with them to such places and that has to be addressed.
    Whether it be drugs or anything else that causes these people to be the way they are financially.
    Handicapped people specifically need additional help to make it work.
    We spend on average 4-8 thousand a month to house poor demented people in nursing homes.
    Most of which is paid for by Medicaid after the government takes everything they ever owned in their entire life.
    Income limits do not work. It is crazy to take away a person’s lifetime possessions that they earned by hard work yet that is exactly how our congress worded things.
    I suggest we take everything they ever worked for and see how they like it.
    On paper, at least, I see a program attempting to do away with slums. The cost is too high. But at least someone will make something on it.
    I think this is a scheme by lawyers and bankers to fix a very embarrassing problem.
    The entire mentality is wrong. What is really needed? How about servicing the people that need the help to get back on their feet financially and get them working again?
    You have a whole lot of useless trashed buildings? So put the people to work fixing them up and giving them a place to live while they find work. And if the work is not available? Then train them in fields that will give them hope of finding a steady job again.
    Not everyone is a bum. Not everyone wants welfare. Ironically we are providing a nation of bums in the way we are socializing help so to get out of welfare and out of government subsistance means taking a 10,000 dollar or more drop in benefits.
    The homeless are homeless because they do not qualify for help or they do not know how to work the system. I suggest it is time to change our entire attitude about the poor and do something about it.

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