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Alder Scott J. Resnick

Alder Scott J. Resnick

Home Address:
661 Mendota Ct # 1404
Madison , WI 53703

Phone: 608-807-7962
Common Council Office:
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Room 417
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
WI Relay Service

Abandoned Residential Property and Open Data

June 9, 2013 1:46 PM

Recently, Alder Anita Weier introduced an ordinance that requires financial institutions to register and inspect residential property that has entered or is in foreclosure. Fines are assessed for failing securing and maintaining vacant properties. The Council passed the ordinance unanimously.

Many communities have had similar legislation for years. Baltimore, Trenton, Milwaukee, and Providence all have registration lists for abandoned and boarded-up properties. A 2008 paper titled Data and Decisions: Parcel Level Information Changing the Way Business Gets Done outlines the overwhelming positive impacts of this data such as assessing trends and needs for intervention in distressed neighborhoods, while providing tips for avoiding potential drawbacks.,

In Chicago, this data has also been included in their open data portal. Developers in the community have used data to  created a useful tool to monitor foreclosures in relation to poverty rate, population, unemployment and medium income. Users can also send problems to Chicago's 311 system. The web application can be viewed here:,

These types of visualizations will hopefully become common in Madison, as well as other cities in the Midwest. Whether the data set is for abandoned properties, bike accidents or crime maps, these types of web applications can help regular citizens monitor the vitality of our city and help policy makers identify areas of improvement.

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