2018, Academic Paper

Green Revitalization of Struggling Urban Neighborhoods

MARCO PATERNOSTER

Vacant urban lots have been linked to increased crime rates, drug use, and financial instability. These vacant lots, long viewed as a liability, in fact present a massive opportunity for carbon sequestration projects, rainwater filtration, habitat restoration, energy use reduction, and environmental education. By creating a series of grassroots movements in struggling urban areas, it is possible to inexpensively convert vacant urban lots into small patches of forest. These micro-forests will provide myriad economic benefits for urban communities at surprisingly little cost. In addition, the micro-forests will increase property values, reduce toxic runoff, provide habitat, and increase quality of life for residents. In this paper, I provide a simplified guide for the ecological revitalization of vacant urban lots. I reference my own research into vacant urban lots in Baltimore as an example.

3rd Place – Academic Paper

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