The West Pullman neighborhood of Chicago has been plagued with a large number of vacant and abandoned properties in recent years. Though there are many online sources for capturing and researching data on these troubled properties, it takes time to gather the resources and interpret the data. Furthermore, West Pullman residents have looked at the data and determined that the existing databases are incomplete. There are properties that should be listed as vacant or abandoned but are not, making it difficult for community members to track the status of the properties and remedy issues such as properties not conforming with City ordinances or dangerous structural issues with existing buildings.
This project includes two elements: 1) field verification of properties identified as vacant or abandoned and 2) improving existing databases or creating a new one that is easier to access, use, and maintain.
We are currently working with West Pullman residents and the Habitat for Humanity Community Action Group to develop the database and have started evaluating example blocks for field verification. The overall goal of the project is to transform these properties from community nuances to community assets, and the first step is collecting data to determine our options.