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An analysis of vacant buildings the city plans to demolish by summer 2020
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Baltimore vacant buildings to be demolished analysis

Baltimore Sun analysis

By Christine Zhang

The Baltimore Sun obtained a list of vacant buildings to be demolished from the Baltimore City Department of Housing and Community Development. The Sun's analysis provided information for a March 15, 2019 Baltimore Sun story titled "Once again, Baltimore officials say they'll demolish more vacants — pledging to take down 2,000 in coming year."

The Sun's findings and analysis are available in the "analysis" markdown file in this repository: The pre-processing code is in the "processing" markdown file in this repository:

If you'd like to run the code yourself in R, you can download the R Markdown files 01_processing.Rmd and 02_analysis.Rmd along with the data in the input folder.

The code used to create the line graph in the story of vacant buildings over time is in line_graph.R.

The raw datasets are saved in the input folder. The cleaned list of properties to be demolished is in the output folder under demolish_list_clean.csv. The historical data of vacants over time was provided by the Department of Housing and Community Development and is saved in input/vbn_count_by_date.csv. These two files are also provided in a Google folder, available at

Community Contributions

There are many angles to explore with this data, beyond just the ones we looked into for our story.

Have something to contribute? Send us a pull request or contact us on Twitter @baltsundata or via email.

You can also fork a copy of this repo to your own account.


All code in this repository is available under the MIT License. The data files are available under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license.

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