Baltimore’s Flawed Renaissance

Although Baltimore’s Inner Harbor is often touted as the example par excellence of government-subsidized redevelopment, Baltimore “is today two cities, separate but unequal, not in spite of its extravagant and interventionist redevelopment program, but because of it,” finds a new study from the Institute for Justice. Baltimore’s Flawed Renaissance: The Failure of Plan-Control-Subsidize Redevelopment, by Loyola College Economics Professor Stephen J.K. Walters and graduate Louis Miserendino, closely examines Baltimore’s 50-year failed attempt to bring investment back into the city.

Baltimore’s Flawed Renaissance is the Institute for Justice’s third Perspectives on Eminent Domain Abuse, a series of independently authored reports that examine eminent domain abuse from the vantage point of noted national experts.

According to Walters and Miserendino, Baltimore’s “‘plan, control and subsidize’ doctrine is antithetical to the types of policies that would have created a far more inviting environment for investment and a far more organic, widely shared and enduring renewal.”

“Often, areas that were well-functioning (if unappealing in planners’ eyes) became emptied-out slums only after they were designated as part of a renewal area or were unlucky enough to sit in the path of a planner transit artery thought necessary to revitalize downtown,” Walters and Miserendino continue.

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