New Maps Show Which Neighborhoods Have The Most Character

December 30, 2016

Cities desire a balance of old and new. A few new maps from the National Trust for Historic Preservation provide a visual of that.

CityLab writes that Atlas of ReUrbanism charts 50 cities based on the “character” of their building stock. A high score indicates blocks of older, smaller, mixed-age buildings, while a lower score means blocks of newer, larger buildings of a similar age.

Historic preservation has its positives and negatives. Preservationists argue that historic districts are higher in density and affordability, but others say maintaining special sections of antique homes blocks access to schools, amenities, and reasonable property values.

If preserving old buildings can help boost affordability and density, it’d be helpful to know where, specifically, they’re doing that. Protecting a high-density, lower-income neighborhood with 50-year-old housing stock from, say, an aggressive condo developer could help protect affordability in a city with a white-hot housing market. Roping off a special district of lacy Victorians may not.

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