Community experiences and perceptions related to demolition and gut rehabilitation of houses for urban redevelopment

Janice Bowie, Mark Farfel, Heather Moran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Reports about current residential demolition practices received from residents and plans for large-scale urban redevelopment in East Baltimore provided impetus for this study to assess community concerns and develop approaches to addressing them. This article describes the following themes regarding residents' experiences with demolition and gut rehabilitation of older housing performed as part of urban redevelopment: (1) lack of notification and awareness about protective measures; (2) concerns about environmental and safety hazards; (3) psychosocial impact from displacement, disruption in daily life, and inattention to community concerns; and (4) recommendations to improve redevelopment practices, including ideas to control neighborhood exposure to environmental hazards potentially exacerbated by residential demolition and gut rehabilitation. The findings from focus groups substantiated and deepened our understanding of earlier anecdotal reports of residents' concerns and emphasized the need for including community perceptions and ideas in addressing environmental and psychosocial issues related to urban redevelopment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)532-542
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Urban Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2005


  • Demolition
  • Focus groups
  • Gut rehabilitation
  • Housing
  • Qualitative
  • Urban redevelopment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Urban Studies
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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