National Geographic : 1976 Jul
Burned-out streets and blighted lives in an arson-devastated, drug-plagued section of New York City's South Bronx seem a fulfillment of God's Biblical warning: "I will lay your cities waste...." But this urban desolation is man's work. Tax laws and zoning regulations that inadvertently make it more profitable to set fire to a run-down building than to restore it for human habitation give incentive to the arsonist's torch, thus compounding the tragedy of our inner cities-crucibles of all that is worst in American land use. But even here an aroused citizenry fights back. Garishly painted mural (above) warns traffickers who grow rich on the desperate cravings of drug addicts. A young American (right), though he must live in such a cor rosive environment, skylarks in the street. Will the American dream include him too? This Land of Ours-How Are We Using It?