Evaluation of local comprehensive plans to vacancy issue in a growing and shrinking city

Jaekyung Lee, Yunmi Park, Hyun Woo Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Vacant and/or abandoned properties exist in every city regardless of whether they are growing or shrinking, and the properties are not always a bad thing, and all underutilized land does not have to be developed. Some types of vacant land are unused but can be productive. Some may have natural resource value for inhabitants and provide green space such as parks space or green infrastructure. Once a city has too much vacant land, it may reflect a long cycle of depopulation and economic downturn. So, a lot of vacant lots is of concern in shrinking cities to change them into a valued commodity. In contrast, insufficient vacant land might hinder future growth and development. Since the vacant land can be a potential opportunity or threat to spur economic development, it is critical to understand vacancy pattern and its drivers and create appropriate policies for each city. By doing so, it would be possible to find the most effective land supply usage for cities having different characteristics and patterns of vacancy. Therefore, this study compares the pattern primary factors of vacancy of a growing city, Fort Worth and shrinking city, Chicago and evaluate whether each city has established planning policies for reducing negative effects and increasing efficient usages. The findings show that transportation and physical factors are strong determinants of the vacancy in a shrinking city, while socioeconomic conditions tend to influence more powerful on increasing vacant properties in a growing city. Furthermore, the outcomes of plan evaluation indicate that the vacancy pattern and its primary factors are grasped and handled firmly in Fort Worth.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4966
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number18
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2019

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Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 by the authors.


  • Growing and shrinking city
  • Land use planning
  • Policy evaluation
  • Urban regeneration
  • Vacant land


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