Multicriteria Decision Analysis: Prioritizing Vacant Land for Redevelopment in a shrinking Baltimore

Authors: Paporn Thebpanya*, Towson University, John Harry Frank, Skelly and Loy, Inc.
Topics: Urban and Regional Planning, Geographic Information Science and Systems, Land Use
Keywords: Multiple Objective Land Allocation, GIS, Baltimore City, Vacancy, Urban Green Space
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


In Baltimore City, vacant properties rose 28% from 1990 to 2010 while the population is shrinking by the year. In this study, we reviewed the changing dynamics and inequities of land uses in Baltimore City and developed criteria to justify vacant land redevelopment prioritization. Factors and constraints were tailored to Baltimore City’s planning objectives. Areas of coincidence between vacant land and non-vegetated space were identified and the accessibility to green space within these areas was assessed using network analysis. The latter’s results could have implications for street tree plantings in underserved communities. Following the Multiple Objective Land Allocation (MOLA) model, we prioritized these coincidence areas for three types of redevelopment: green space, commercial, and residential. Using the hot spot analysis, we found the largest degree of coincidence between vacancy hot spots and canopy cold spots in southeast Baltimore, mainly in the downtown area along the harbor. The southwest and northwest corridors had moderate and low levels of coincidence, respectively. The results of the MOLA suggested that 257 acres of vacant land should be prioritized for green space, 248 acres for commercial redevelopment, and 218 acres for residential redevelopment. The model treated residential and commercial zones as mutually exclusive, thus the results may only be true to a certain extent. Baltimore City allows for mixed use residential zoning, which incorporates office and commercial zoning with residential. In a city-wide analysis, these zones may be too small to influence the model results. However, with redevelopment, the land owner can appeal for rezoning.

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