Grounds for Change: Activating Vacant Land

Explore / Corridors

Building Corridors brings together populations, businesses, and neighborhoods never before in close contact. Explore this Category to learn how urban networks of all kinds—from bicycle lanes to trail systems to small-scale barter economies—can capitalize on vacant properties to effect citywide change.

Railroad adjacencies and large tracts of vacant land act as large event spaces and take the place of traditional “commons.”

Biodelphia

Philadelphia, PA

Integrating biotechnology and the urban fabric.

Idea
Exterior and interior of an abandoned house on LaClede Avenue, one of many left vacant thanks to Youngstown's housing surplus.

Lots of Green

Youngstown, OH

An ambitious plan to comprehensively repurpose a neighborhood's vacant properties.

Completed
One of two flow-through planter boxes framing the entrance to the Waterview Recreation Center.  (Flickr: philastories)

Waterview Recreation Center

Philadelphia, PA

A renovated community center incorporates streetside features to manage stormwater.

Completed
Eco Boulevard combines elements of urban forestry—saplings in the foreground—and a temporary, wind-powered community center to help revitalize this large urban thoroughfare.  (Emilio P. Doiztua & Roland Halbe)

Eco Boulevard

Madrid,

A temporary climate control structure and urban plaza in Madrid.

Completed
Eastwick Alleywalk proposes to rehabilitate a vacant parcel in Southwest Philadelphia as a major point of intersection in a new, enhanced network of bicycle-friendly streets.

Eastwick Alleywalk

Philadelphia, PA

Creating corridors and connecting parks and the city.

Idea
The Produce Garden will sit side-by-side with a recreation field and basketball court.

Timescapes

Philadelphia, PA

Taking back the backyard

Idea