Philadelphia Enterprise Reporting Awards: The Abandoned City
The Abandoned City
The City of Philadelphia is the largest owner of abandoned properties in the city. The City Paper, working with PlanPhilly.com’s Anthony Campisi and TechnicallyPhilly. com, identified about 40,000 of these properties and produced a series of seven stories about how these vacant sites were affecting city neighborhoods.
A key part of the project was an interactive database and map of still-vacant properties conveyed to others by the city’s Redevelopment Authority. The RDA has the power of eminent domain and may dispose of property for less than market value. RDA has conveyed thousands of vacant properties over the past few decades to individuals, companies, and organizations. Most have been redeveloped – but not all.
Project partners also made public the raw data of the RDA properties as well as properties listed by the Water Department as likely vacant.
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