You know that ugly part of downtown that’s in a state of disrepair? Practically nobody lives there; those who do live there often don’t have jobs; lots of buildings are abandoned, damaged, and decaying; crime is high; and the place is desolate and unfriendly looking? Well, that part of downtown is suffering from urban blight, a complex socioeconomic process afflicting nearly every North American city, particularly those in the West.
Urban blight in the US became prominent during the 1970s and 1980s as global economics shifted (most experts opine that there is no single cause, though economics is plays a big part) and many metropolitan city centers could not adjust to the new reality. Happily, in the past few years urban blight has been decreasing and metropolitan city centers are enjoying some rehabilitation efforts by municipal governments.