Who Owns That Vacant Building? Scan the Art to Find Out

In a brilliant mash up of classic protest/beautifying strategies and state-of-the-art data management, artists are painting murals on abandoned Baltimore buildings  . . . complete with QR codes that bring you to data about those who own them. The data is compiled by Carol Ott of Baltimore Slumlord Watch, who was just profiled in Atlantic Cities.

(See photos here.) The idea of posting ownership info publicly on buildings reminds me of 596 Acres in Brooklyn, though they focus on publicly owned lots. Still, the power in the digital age of having the info right there on the building or fence lot itself is amazingly powerful.

Miriam Axel-Lute is CEO/editor-in-chief of Shelterforce. She lives in Albany, New York, and is a proud small-city aficionado.


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