The vacant lot across the street from the Barrel Plating Services, Inc. warehouse can be seen as a valuable asset to the community of Walnut Hill, just east of Washington Park. Vacant lots can be turned into green spaces, park, and playgrounds for the people in the surrounding area to relax, play, and enjoy the views not related to the high rises of the cityscape.
There is also an ecological pressure to create "softscapes" in denser city areas. With water runoff and absorption being aided with a porous, grassy area, there is less of a chance of flooding and sewer backups that are a recurring problem in Milwaukee due to the older sewer system not being able to contain all of the water drainage.
A vacant lot can also be used for a newfound idea of urban gardens. Flowers, or even vegetable plots, that the community maintains can bring a sense of self and pride to the people living there. Food deserts are a rising problem in urban neighborhoods where the closest and easiest way to get food is at a fast food restaurant. Planting vegetables in an urban garden provides the option for the community to have easy access to fresh food, which is a healthier choice than greasy fast food.
Another use that cities are looking to gain out of vacant lots is outdoor art gallery space. Providing a designated space for self-expression can inspire the neighborhood to beautify the area and recreate a sense of self-meaning and pride. This can lead to a decrease in crime rates and a boost in overall morale.
Giving people a reason to occupy the currently vacant space by providing them an enjoyable place to be in, such as a park, urban garden, or art display, can greatly increase the sense of community in an area. Additionally, bringing in food carts gives residents a reason to remain in the area longer. These assets can also assist in drawing outside crowds to the neighborhood.