Birmingham, Alabama: Does Urban Revitalization Help Property Values?

I was in downtown Birmingham, Alabama yesterday for an appraisal inspection and ran across the West End Urban Garden.  It is a project between Urban Ministry and Community Church Without Walls.  This was the first time I have seen this so I did some research on the internet and found some information on their website.  According to the website their goal is this:

We want to educate youth about gardening, provide better food security by encouraging gardening in the neighborhood, encourage healthy eating practices, teach organic gardening and hopefully have some extra vegetables for the children to sell. A long-term goal is to build a community cannery where community gardeners will have the equipment and facilities to preserve the vegetables they have grown.

We will make garden beds available to neighborhood residents for growing vegetables. We will also have a common garden area where we grow vegetables that are not well suited to raised bed gardening.

I thought this was an awesome idea.  I have seen things like this on the news but did not know they were doing it around here.  This is a depressed area as you can see from the picture of a nearby property.

I hope this project builds momentum and result in other revitalization efforts in the area.  I started wondering if this could somehow help property values in the area.  By building more community awareness and pride will this change peoples outlook on their neighborhoods?  Do you have this type of activity in your area, and if so what has been the impact on the areas property values.  I would be interested in finding out how these types of projects have affected values in other communities.

Comments

  1. Love seeing initiatives like this take root. So many properties and so many people are struggling, and when a group can get it together enough to make something like this happen, a whole new world of possibilities opens up.

    Years ago in San Jose, CA, they tore out one of the last community gardens to make room for a bigger library branch. The community rallied and tried to get the library re-designed to be two-stories instead of one, to save the garden, but all efforts failed.

    It was a sad sad day. I don’t know if that garden made a difference in property values in the community, but it sure made a difference in how I felt about the community – walking by the garden on the way to the library was a needed breath of fresh country air in an urban setting.

    Thank you for giving some press to these folks. I hope it works!

    • Hey Alison, thanks for your comments about your experiences with these urban gardens. I agree with you, it is a breath of fresh air to have these gardens in urban settings. I look forward to hearing your take on other topics. Have a great day.

  2. If you wanted to do the research, you could compare sales data close to community gardens with areas that were similar before they were established. The Southern Environmental Center at Birmingham-Southern has built several of them, and their director, Roald Hazelhoff, would probably be happy to assist with compiling data.

    http://www.bhamwiki.com/w/Southern_Environmental_Center

    • John, thanks for the information, I will take a look at that link. I would think that it could only help the desireability of the area. Look forward to hearing more from you.

  3. This is a great idea. I think it has potential to help residents focus on health as well as the way their properties look. Beauitfication begets more beautification in a community, so it sounds like this program has potential to do some good.

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