Vacant urban areas: Causes and interconnected factors Academic Article uri icon


  • 2017 Vacant urban areas (VUAs) can consist of both vacant land and abandoned structures. In this article, the authors summarize a recent survey on VUA, examine current conditions and causes of VUA, and explore the possible interconnections among these conditions and causes. The research examines employment, fiscal position, elasticity, population alteration, and regional location as primary variables. We find that VUAs are not interchangeable indicators of urban decay. Vacant land is most often associated with cities that have expanded their political boundaries while structural abandonment is more related to a city's population loss. Improvement of the local economy may not necessarily help reduce vacant land while structural abandonment is more sensitive to a city's economic status. Regional planning for VUAs, the strategic location of new industries and jobs, and new population/density regulatory approaches could be the next phase in addressing VUA changes.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Newman, G., Park, Y., Bowman, A., & Lee, R. J.

citation count

  • 42

complete list of authors

  • Newman, Galen||Park, Yunmi||Bowman, Ann O' M||Lee, Ryun Jung

publication date

  • February 2018

published in