HomePenn researchers calculate the cost of urban blight

The University of Pennsylvania’s Urban Health Lab recently published a longitudinal study that calculated the financial impacts and economic returns of eliminating local, urban blight.
The research team studied over 6,000 abandoned buildings and vacant lots across Philadelphia and calculated that cost of remediation at about $2,550 and $1,597, respectively, with an additional $180 in annual maintenance costs.


“Based on these figures and the initial cost of remediation, the first-year return on investment to taxpayers for firearm assaults averted was $5 per abandoned building and $26 per vacant lot. The societal first-year returns on investment for firearm assaults averted were $79 for the remediation of an abandoned building and $333 for the greening of a vacant lot.”
The information presented in this study continues to support the argument for more vibrant and well-maintained public green spaces and green stormwater infrastructure.
Read the PhillyVoice article about this ground-breaking research.