Why do vacant sites in cities kill the vitality of urban life?
On one level, the answer is obvious. Vacant plots attract detritus. They are pockmarks. They are empty and lifeless - and empty, lifeless things are boring, dull and defy the myth of go-go city life.
The uniformity of non-place is the melting of an infinite diversity and gives way to 'nothing-ness'....The expanse of 'nothing-ness' provides no escape, evoking a sense of agoraphobia.
In other words, rather than just blankness, empty places in cities invoke 'reverse-claustrophia'. They're scary.
When I've been in vast landscapes like the Western Desert of the Sahara, they've been astonishing or engaging but then intimidating, at times almost suffocating. Are dead places in cities capable of evoking similar feelings?