Community Progress Blog

Learning from Baltimore’s Vacants to Value: Part III

Written by on April 18, 2017

One can learn a lot about tackling abandoned properties from Baltimore’s Vacants to Value. However successful it’s been, at getting abandoned properties back into use, though, there are real risks in overselling that achievement. The core element of that program, simply stated, is an effective means of getting developers to restore vacant properties without public…


Learning from Baltimore’s Vacants to Value: Part II

Written by on April 12, 2017

In my first post on this theme, I wrote about the thinking behind Baltimore’s highly successful effort to get private developers and property owners to rehabilitate vacant properties and put them back to use. As I noted, the key element in the strategy is creating a predictable pipeline of vacant properties that developers can get hold…


Learning from Baltimore’s Vacants to Value: Part I

Written by on April 11, 2017

In 2010, the City of Baltimore kicked off an ambitious effort to address its vacant property challenges, an effort it called Vacants to Value (V2V). After five years, the city decided to commission an in-depth evaluation of the program, and after a competitive process, retained the Center for Community Progress, in partnership with the Baltimore…


Two new resources to inform short- and long-term vacant land reuse

Written by on November 23, 2015

When it comes to vacant land reuse, perhaps no other city in the nation faces as great of a challenge and as much of an opportunity as Detroit. Currently, Detroit has an inventory of more than 100,000 vacant parcels without buildings. In terms of land mass, that’s around 20 square miles of empty land, roughly…


Can Detroit’s vacant factories become community assets?

Written by on July 22, 2015

Cross-posted from Next City, this article is one of a ten-part series inspired by the 2015 Reclaiming Vacant Properties Conference. Heading east along I-94 from Detroit’s resurgent Midtown area, two massive structures loom on the horizon. For passing drivers, they’re awe-inducing symbols of both the city’s former industrial might and the dismaying scale of its post-industrial challenges. The Fisher…


#LoveThatLot: Your Valentines for formerly vacant lots

Written by on February 13, 2015

Parcel by parcel, on blocks across the country, transformations are underway: local champions are turning vacant, abandoned lots into local gems. These projects are changing neighborhoods and touching lives but, too often, they’re known only to those who are lucky enough to live nearby.  Last week, we issued a call for Valentines to shine some light on these special spots and you responded without…


On World Food Day, a look at food justice & urban ag with Garden Justice Legal Initiative in Philadelphia

Written by on October 16, 2014

On World Food Day, which is themed  “Family Farming: Feeding the World, Caring for the Earth” this year, we’re exploring how the reuse of vacant properties can be a critical component of achieving food security and justice. In order to successfully eliminate entrenched, systemic blight communities must support a wide array of reuse strategies, and urban agriculture is…


Webcast: Community Progress speaks on vacant properties and land banks at HUD

Written by on April 18, 2014

In conjunction with the release of HUD’s latest issue of “Evidence Matters,” Kim Graziani and Alan Mallach were invited to speak at HUD’s Quarterly Briefing last week. They were joined by U.S. Representative and Community Progress co-founder Dan Kildee (MI), Yolanda Chavez, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Grant Programs in HUD’s Office of Community Planning and Development, and…


I Wish This Were a ______: A community re-imagines a blighted building in Lansing

Written by on November 6, 2013

Some chalkboard paint and a bucket of chalk turned a vacant eyesore into a canvas of possibilities in Lansing, Michigan’s Urbandale neighborhood. The abandoned, crumbling Paro Party Store had been a blight on Lansing’s East side for years. “I thought to myself, ‘Wouldn’t it be neat to have a co-op grocery store with local foods?’”…


“A lot of tiny pieces lost”

Written by on October 2, 2013

Cross-posted from Next City, this article is part of the 2013 Reclaiming Vacant Properties Conference liveblog series. Check out all the in-depth content — even if you weren’t able to join us in Philadelphia from September 9-11, 2013, you’ll feel like you did! Zach Patten of Curbed Philly contributed to this story. The Reclaiming Vacant Properties conference turned its eye…