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30.2 Vacant Sites and Building Activity

This indicator measures where new construction is occurring in the greater Albuquerque area.

This indicator is part of Low and high density living.

Indicator description:

This indicator measures where new construction is occurring in the greater Albuquerque area. Data about the number of vacant sites are shown at selected periods between 1999 and 2012. Also shown are the percentages of all building permits issued in various locations between 2000 and 2012. Data are shown for permits issued within the 1960 and 1980 city limits and the Adopted Water Service Area (AWSA) boundary of the Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority. It is important to note that all construction slowed considerably in 2007. Forty-three percent fewer building permits were issued in 2007 than in 2006.

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Why is this indicator relevant?

Infill development tends to create higher density neighborhoods and invites mixed land uses. Infill is also more likely to use existing infrastructure reducing public development and maintenance costs. It maximizes the efficiency and economy of the infrastructure and offers more alternative transit choices such as walking, bicycling, and mass transit.

WIZ = Adopted water service area boundary

Data Source:
City of Albuquerque Planning Department

What can we tell from the data?

  • The number of vacant sites over one acre within the 1960 city limits decreased 64% between 1999 and 2012. Although it appears that the number of vacant sites within the 2012 city limits is near the 1999 level, this is more likely due to increased subdividing of lots rather than an actual increase in vacant acreage.
  • The percentage of new construction in the 1960 city limits stayed fairly constant between 2000 and 2012, though has trended downward since 2009. The percentage within the 1980 limits dipped between 2001 and 2005, increased in 2006, but dropped off drastically since 2009 and is trending upward.
  • The proportion of development between the 1980 city limits and the AWSA peaked in 2003 but declined to its lowest level in 2012. Development outside the AWSA was fairly constant until an increase in 2012.


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