Community Progress Blog

From Randyland to grand new plans: Albany and Flint residents learn from Pittsburgh successes

Written by on September 5, 2017

What can dinosaurs teach us about vacant land? Probably not very much. Dinosaurs are long extinct. Even plastic dino-toys – though ironic – have very little to offer us relative to vacancy or community health. I am surprised one would really even ponder this question. But do you know who can share some important insights…


From the Board Chair: Welcome to our new President and CEO

Written by on June 19, 2017

Dear Community Progress friends, It is with great pleasure that I share with you that Akilah Watkins-Butler will be joining the Center for Community Progress as its new President and CEO in early July 2017. Akilah comes to the organization with more than 20 years of experience working to develop successful and sustainable policies, practices,…


President’s Corner: Announcing next steps with gratitude for the past five years

Written by on March 7, 2017

Community Progress Friends: I write today to share the bittersweet news that I will be leaving Community Progress in the summer of 2017 to relocate abroad with my family, due to a unique fellowship opportunity for my husband. Today, the Board of Directors announced these plans and opened the search for a new President and…


From the Board Chair: Announcing a leadership transition at Community Progress

Written by on March 7, 2017

Dear Friends of Community Progress, It is with mixed emotions that I write, on behalf of the Board of Directors, to share with you the decision of our President and CEO, Tamar Shapiro, to leave the Center for Community Progress in the summer of 2017. Due to a recent fellowship offer for her husband, Tamar…


You really #LoveThatLot! Highlights from the 2017 campaign

Written by on February 15, 2017

Through this year’s #LoveThatLot campaign, hundreds of people held in-person celebrations and shared photos of revitalization projects across the country. You shared your love for vacant lots transformed into farms, gas stations transformed into buildings with small businesses, and demolition sites turned into children’s learning gardens. For example, the Habitat for Humanity of Sonoma County “heart-bombed” several renovation projects that will…


Remembering Ray Pianka

Written by on January 27, 2017

Raymond L. Pianka, judge of Cleveland’s Housing Court, died suddenly at the age of 65 early Sunday morning, January 22. As the city’s housing court judge for over two decades, Ray became something close to a legend among people engaged in fighting neighborhood decline and abandoned properties, not just in Cleveland but across the United…


#LoveThatLot: Show your love for revitalization projects!

Written by on January 24, 2017

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! Why not celebrate it by sending Valentine love to your favorite revitalization projects and community champions? #LoveThatLot is back in its third annual campaign and we’re excited for you to share your love for revitalized spaces! From Newark to Milwaukee, Baltimore to Philadelphia, last year’s #LoveThatLot was HUGELY…


Three new communities selected for the Technical Assistance Scholarship Program

Written by on March 8, 2016

Community Progress launched the competitive Technical Assistance Scholarship Program (TASP) in 2014, to help us find and support today’s pioneers in the work to reclaim and revitalize problem properties. TASP seeks out communities that are ready to effect positive change on the ground and that could become innovative models from which others will learn. Today,…


#LoveThatLot: A Valentine’s celebration for neighborhood revitalization champions in Baltimore

Written by on February 19, 2016

This year, as part of our Valentine’s Day #LoveThatLot campaign, we were lucky to have the chance to visit a revitalized vacant lot in Baltimore’s Barclay neighborhood and bring some much-deserved attention to the work of the amazing community members who helped transform the space. Though it was freezing cold, staff from Community Progress, Community…


So much PDA! Highlights from the 2016 #LoveThatLot campaign

Written by on February 16, 2016

In a nationwide Valentine’s Day “Public Display of Affection,” many of you shared your love for revitalized vacant places and the people who have poured their hearts into transforming them as part of the #LoveThatLot campaign. Some even took it to the next level and hosted in-person celebrations. A special shout-out to the City of Salisbury, Maryland, where…