I attended the 2013 PNCIS conference recently and am struck by the problem of blight in the Mon Valley. According to one spokesperson, in the North Braddock neighborhood which has close to 2000 properties, about 300 are “abandoned.” I wonder about what revitalization efforts are going on in these communities? Where the bulldozers are probably the most effective tool accordingly to some experts. Some cities and municipalities are focusing on local arts and gardens or urban agriculture. Another speaker talked about increased in 911 calls, police and fire service in blight neighborhoods. I thought about health effects on surrounding residents (more later on this topic). For educators, the NYTimes has a great resource to examine urban decay and renewal for public health students.
It is exciting to see the development of open data in city government but I would love to see the connection with health databases (ACHD, academias, health systems) recognizing the barriers to this process. The day will come...
"I wish to do something Great and Wonderful, but I must start by doing the little things like they were Great and Wonderful"