The latest issue of Buffalo Spree Magazine has a roundtable discussion addressing Buffalo's most pressing urban crisis - vacant property. I received a scanned copy of the article today. Here's the text - page 1, page 2, page 3, page 4 and page 5.
Six years ago I posted Getting Smarter about Decline. I included links to LISC Buffalo's new ground breaking analysis and bold policy initiatives: Blueprint Buffalo. LISC and PUSH Buffalo are still at the edge of intelligent analysis and developing coherent action plans for dealing with the City's abandonment and vacancy problems. Aaron Bartley's recent article in the Huffington Post - Rust Belt Cities and the New Urban Agarianism - spells out the problems and some of the smart new solutions that are appearing on both sides of Main Street.
Since 2006 there's been little movement on establishing an intensive level street survey - door to door analysis - of the City's vacancy problem. As more people leave the City, they leave behind empty houses. Counting the vacant houses will reveal the magnitude of the problem. Short of an intensive level street survey, we're playing guessing games.
Update 2/27/12 at 12:15pm - Additional resources for understanding the extent and magnitude of Buffalo's vacant property crises are available in this post - Vacant/Undeliverable - from 2010. I'd linked to the Buffalo Vacancy, a wiki site maintained and currently updated by Anthony Armstrong, Program Manager at LISC Buffalo. In addition there's a short video in that post which is part of Laura Underhill's graduate work at North Carolina State, showing the extent of vacancy in the City's Cold Springs neighborhood.