Joern Langhorst (top photo), assistant professor of Landscape Architecture, and Jeremy Németh (bottom), associate professor and chair of Planning and Design and director, Master of Urban Design Program, published the article, “Rethinking Urban Transformation: Temporary Uses for Vacant Land” in the international peer-reviewed journal Cities.

Németh and Langhorst argue the necessity for vacant land in neighborhoods in cities experiencing severe economic and population decline, such as Detroit, Akron and Cleveland.

They demonstrate how formal, official and “permanent” responses to the vacancy problem are inappropriate given the widely varying causes, durations, contexts and patterns of vacancy and the inability of similarly scoped government-led programs to, thus far, achieve intended goals or improve local quality of life.

Németh and Langhorst instead promote temporary, incremental, flexible and experimental responses to urban vacant land and outline the potential benefits and drawbacks of this temporary use model.

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