TRANSFORMING VACANT LAND: A GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE MASTER PLAN FOR THE NEIGHBORHOOD OF DRUID HEIGHTS, BALTIMORE
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Vacant properties often become an invitation for crime, dumping, and other unwanted activities and are associated with lower property values; increased municipal costs; and poorer health outcomes. However, vacancy can be viewed as an asset for the community and an opportunity for productive reuse. Well-maintained urban green spaces can reduce crime, strengthen social ties, and improve physical and mental health. The green infrastructure master plan for the neighborhood of Druid Heights is a response to findings from the site inventory and analysis and the community and stakeholder engagement process, which indicate a lack of recreational and natural amenities, poor public health outcomes, and high crime rates. By improving access to recreational and natural amenities and creating a connected series of green spaces, the design of this thesis addresses the high vacancy rate of Druid Heights and promotes recreation and social interaction to improve the public health outcomes of neighborhood residents.