Impact of Vacant and Derelict Land
The Scottish Land Commission in conjunction with Glasgow Caledonian University published research in 2019 which highlighted the impact of vacant and derelict land on the general population. The report argued that there is evidence of a spatial association between interaction with vacant and derelict land and impact on physical health with regard to poorer health outcomes, population health and life expectancy. Vacant and derelict land can also negatively impact community health and wellbeing, with reported effects ranging from anxiety levels, agitation and anger to increased incidence of crime and anti-social behaviours. The report also argues that evidence suggests that communities in areas of higher deprivation interact with vacant derelict land more regularly, with disproportionate impacts on their health and wellbeing. Vacant and derelict land can impact significantly on a community's perception of itself and this is increased by higher concentrations of vacant and derelict land. The effect can be more pronounced for older people who remember what sites were used for in the past and who have witnessed a decline from productive use. More broadly, the report outlines the economic harm caused by vacant and derelict land by reducing the potential for investment and that this is more pronounced where the land had previously been used for economic or commercial use.