The Case of the Disappearing City
Given the durability of real property and the rapidity of structural economic change during the past twenty years, many areas of central cities are bereft of significant economic value and are gradually abandoned as the population filters outward without replacement at the core. Hence, we witness the gradual emergence of a “disappearing” central city. Whether or not, large parts of the central city will actually entirely disappear into vast brownfields remains to be seen.
This project’s goals were confined to describing the geography of vacant land in the central city of Buffalo, NY during the 1990’s. We conclude this report by describing some of our plans for future research into other aspects of the general problem of the disappearance of population and housing stock. In the future, we hope to propose ways and means by which market forces can be induced to reuse large zones of the central city.