"Dangerous" Buildings and Urban Planning: Locus, Legal Framework and Assessment for the City of Larissa
Journal of Civil Engineering and Architecture
Dangerous, vacant and abandoned buildings traditionally have been considered as negative elements in the urban environment. Their "harmful" properties include hosting "nests" of criminality (drug trafficking etc.), becoming a threat to public safety (easy to catch fire, collapsing building materials etc.), degrading conditions of public health (rubbish damp, rats infesting etc.), affecting property values in the surrounding areas, loading their owners with taxes (property tax etc.) and no
... etc.) and no revenues, imposing negative impacts on the aesthetics and the quality of the urban environment. On the other hand, they might trigger opportunities for urban regeneration, provide new available spaces for urban uses if demolished, and provide a stock of urban elements of special characteristics, to be used for the formulation of housing policies. The present article reviews urban policies focusing on these properties and assesses existing implementations. The various factors characterizing the above initiatives constitute challenging planning and legal cases. The complexity of the issue of abandoned buildings in the urban environment, is to be tested in the case of the city of Larissa, Greece. Legal and planning inadequacies in dealing with the above will be investigated, and proposals for the formulation of policies and legal tools will be synthesized.