An area unsafe for habitation due to various factors like improper facilities, land degradation, crime rates, etc. A blighted area is unlikely to recover on its own and often requires government intervention for survival.
Blighted Area Details
The buildings and other infrastructure in blighted areas are no longer habitable. Some of the reasons for this can be improper maintenance, faulty design, overcrowding, inadequate ventilation, sanitation, etc. Improper governance from local civic authorities is a major contributing factor to the creation of blighted localities.
Political unrest can also be a significant contributing factor to the creation of blighted areas. Such situations can cause improper maintenance of several communities, resulting in blight.
Blight can also occur due to natural causes like pollution. Community areas located near chemical industries producing harmful gases can lead to inhabitable living conditions. Increasing crime rates can also create a highly volatile community. The property values in a crime-filled locality will slump and lead to the outflow of large sections of the population.
Real-World Example of Blighted Area
France is one of the biggest European counties known for its diverse population composed of immigrants from several former French colonies in Africa, Algeria, Morocco, etc. Areas of blight surround several French cities.
Immigrant-dominated areas in large cities like Paris and Lyon were severely affected during the economic depression in the 1980s. The government created public housing projects to house the increasing immigrant population. The creation of high-rise buildings concentrated in small areas led to overly populated regions.
Authorities further examined the substandard living conditions in these areas when two teenagers died in 2005 due to accidental electrocution. Improper maintenance of electrical lines was the primary reason for this accident. Several riots between the local public and the police ensued in reaction to the tragic accident. Increasing criminal activities like drug trafficking and gang wars have also led to the creation of urban blight areas in and around Paris and Lyon.
Significance of Blighted Area
The financial impact on a blighted area is enormous, causing the commercial revenue and growth from a blighted area to follow a downward spiral. Such a situation generally does not recover without outside intervention, which can be difficult as many consider blighted areas subjected to years of mistreatment beyond repair. Such places are no longer fit for housing and are no longer viable business platforms.
Throughout history, there have been several instances where blighted areas have been recovered from the dead by governments and private businesses. Civil authorities can take steps to ensure that there is a recovery in the economy. Tax incentives for private organizations provide them an incentive to move their businesses to blighted areas.
Areas like Vaulx-en-Velin and other suburban parts of northern Paris have undergone redevelopment and refurbishment. It has helped eradicate urban decay and helped make places more habitable for the general public. In the United States of America, the establishment of urban renewal projects focusing on large-scale housing undertakings for the poor has helped reduce urban decay and blight.