David Joseph for The New York Times

Ultra (Urban Long Term Research Area) scientists have found an interesting use for vacant urban lots—they study “bird and insect populations, watershed systems, soil nematodes and urban farming” in these abandoned areas. According to the Times, “Ultra-Ex advances a forward-looking mission: to document the ecological benefits that vacant lots might provide and to redefine the land, from neighborhood blight to community asset.” Pretty interesting idea.

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