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Conference Presentations 


RVP 2012








Training SessionsConcurrent Sessions 1Concurrent Sessions 2
Concurrent Sessions 3Concurrent Sessions 4Concurrent Sessions 5


To download PDFs of the presentations and training documents from the 2012 Reclaiming Vacant Properties Conference, simply browse through the presentation list below and click on the speaker's name. You can also download a PDF of the conference program.







Wednesday, June 20 2:30pm – 5:30pm 


A. Mixed Media: Blending High-tech, Low-tech and Grassroots Techniques for Equitable Community Engagement
This interactive session will teach you how to effectively and equitably engage diverse stakeholders by diversifying your public outreach methods when transforming properties, neighborhoods and cities. You will walk away from this session with an understanding of how to incorporate new tools and practices into your community engagement initiative. You will have the opportunity to learn both innovative digital techniques and creative low-tech methods that will help you reach typically underserved groups and motivate a wide range of stakeholders to provide input. The session will present case studies from cities like Philadelphia, Detroit and Albany, New York; expertise from PlaceMatters, a leader in creative and digital engagement; and an opportunity to test the interactive brainstorming, visualization and mapping tools that have proven effective in these cities and others.

Speakers:  Deenah Loeb, City Parks Association of Philadelphia, Regional Parks Institute; Sarah Reginelli, Capitalize Albany Corporation; Ken Snyder, PlaceMatters; Michelle Thompson & Brittany Arceneaux, WhoData

B. State Policy from A to Z: Strategies from Advocacy to Implementation
Progressive land use plans, problem property policies and winning advocacy strategies share one “go-to” place: states, where legislative changes typically need to be implemented to make many land use policies possible. This training will explore the current level of state play and share critical strategy lessons that make or break an advocacy campaign. In the first half of this session, you’ll hear about the efforts from experienced practitioners as they reflect on their strategies, successes and failures. In the second half of the training, attendees will work in small groups in a hands-on process to understand and develop the framework of a plan for their state. Whether you’re just starting and are looking to learn about building a policy coalition or are well underway and wondering how to deal with difficult legislators, this training will help you get to the next level of success. We encourage you to take the lessons learned here to your state caucus on June 21.

Speakers: Anthony Armstrong, Buffalo LISC; Peter Kasabach, New Jersey Future; Jennifer Leonard, Center for Community Progress; Elisa Ortiz, Smart Growth America; Marcia Rubensohn, Georgia Municipal Association; Julia Seward, Julia Seward Consulting; Diane Sterner, Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey

Additional Materials:
Creating a Winning Campaign Plan, Smart Growth America
Georgia Land Bank Act


C. Building an Effective Code Enforcement Management System: Data, Case, Budget and Personnel
In an era of reduced revenue and increasing blight, it has never been more important to effectively manage code enforcement resources. As those managing these departments understand, the variety of activities under their command can help prevent properties from becoming vacant, keep neighborhoods healthy and safe, and even catalyze revitalization. While it’s true that governments feel understaffed in the face of huge challenges, an understanding of how to develop performance-oriented goals, coupled with effective and concise policies and procedures, can ensure that you use your resources to make a visible and palpable difference in your community. Through case studies and personal examples of successes (and failures) this session will explore these areas. Speakers will also look at central pieces of the code enforcement department, from methods that help replenish your budget (administrative civil penalties, full cost recovery, collections and lien foreclosure) to those that enhance or detract from your efforts (data and filing systems). This session will help point out the landmines to avoid while attempting to manage and motivate a code enforcement system and team.

Speakers:Pura Bascos, City of New Orleans; Michael Braverman, Baltimore Housing; Mark Frater, Lean Firm, Inc.; Doug Leeper, Code Enforcement Solutions


D. Understanding Neighborhood Dynamics and Using Market-Based Data
Strategic resource allocation and investment requires that practitioners have a clear picture of regional, city and neighborhood dynamics. To develop that clear picture, it is essential to collect, use and share accurate data. This training session will delve into the ways a number of communities have built their data systems and deployed initiatives to transform their communities. Learn ways to increase your capacity to gather, analyze, present, share and use data to support stabilization activities and investment decisions. Speakers from different cities will talk about how they are maximizing results by analyzing market trends, building new partnerships, collecting and evaluating data and disseminating information. You’ll then have an opportunity to brainstorm ways to incorporate these lessons back home. 

Speakers: Eleanore Eveleth, Data Driven Detroit; Quincy Jones, Osborn Neighborhood Alliance; Justin Kray, City of New Orleans; David Lessinger, New Orleans Redevelopment Authority; Alan Mallach, Center for Community Progress and the Brookings Institution; Mike Schramm, Cuyahoga County Land Reutilization Corporation; Jason Stopa, Beacon of Hope Resource Center


E. Land Banking 101
The session will open with “Land Bank 101,” an in-depth look at how to form, fund and operate a land bank, presented by some of the leading experts in the land bank field in America. The session will provide participants with an understanding of the various purposes for which land banks are formed, how land banks are structured to conform to the political and market environments in which they are located, and a variety of ways to finance land bank operations and redevelopment projects. The session will also give participants an understanding of the variety of programs that land banks operate across the country. The second part of the session will involve representatives from several land banks across the country who will engage in a facilitated discussion to answer the moderator’s questions – and yours – about how these concepts have played out in “real life” in their communities.

Speakers:  Frank Alexander, Center for Community Progress; Michael Beazley, Lucas County Land Reutilization Corporation; Gus Frangos, Cuyahoga County Land Bank; Amy Hovey, Center for Community Progress; Dan Kildee, on leave from Center for Community Progress; Chris Norman, Fulton County/City of Atlanta Land Bank Authority; Eric Schertzing, Ingham County Land Bank Authority


F. If a Tree Falls in the Forest: The Importance and Practice of Communications
While too often overlooked, communications efforts are an essential part of all organizational strategies. Whether the goal is passage of legislation, garnering community involvement, creating awareness of challenges and opportunities, or securing long-term funding and allies, communications are critical. This session will look at communications from all aspects. We’ll explore what we mean by communications, and consider the use and impact of various communications tools – from earned media and advertising to email, Facebook, Twitter and more. We’ll look at how to align communications goals with organizational and campaign goals, create media strategies and tactics and measure their effectiveness. The session will have two parts: Part One will be a strategic and practical discussion of goals, means and measures. Part Two will be an exercise, performed by randomly composed subgroups, to create and discuss prototype strategies in a variety of typical situations faced by government and activists.

Speaker:  Marilyn Katz, MK Communications

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Thursday, June 2110:45am – 12:15pm


A. Tools You Can Use: Grassroots Movements Address Blight
Active residents and neighborhood groups keep the focus on revitalization in their communities in many different ways, instigating change from their neighbors and government leaders alike. Join community leaders from New Orleans, Louisville and other cities to hear about how grassroots efforts from visioning exercises to community mapping to collect and make information available and coalition development to change the tax lien structure change the systems that affect their communities.

Speakers:  Pat Clark, Jackson/Clark Partners; Nick Kindel, Committee for a Better New Orleans; Eva Sohl, Freret Neighborhood Center; Anthony Smith, Network Center for Community Change; Jane Walsh, Network Center for Community Change



B. Data-Driven Strategies for Targeting Resources to Address Foreclosure and Vacancy
The foreclosure crisis is sufficiently extensive and persistent in most American cities such that municipalities and their partners cannot tend to every property that goes into – or is affected by – foreclosure. To meaningfully address foreclosures, as well as vacant, distressed buildings, with limited resources, data-driven tools are being developed at both the national and local levels to effectively target city services and funding. This session will offer perspectives on a national census tract-level analysis of neighborhood market conditions as well as local examples from the cities of Boston and Minneapolis. The tools discussed will include measures to help in foreclosure prevention, vacant property identification and maintenance, as well as a comprehensive look at housing markets and recovery strategies.

Speakers:  Laura Delgado, City of Boston; Jeff Matson, University of Minnesota – Center for Urban and Regional Affairs; Jacob Wascalus, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis; Francisca Winston, Local Initiatives Support Corporation



C. Innovative Land Bank Partnerships: Leveraging Community Capacity to Meet Community Goals
Land banks do more than just acquire, hold and dispose of properties, and with today’s financial restraints, it is more important than ever to think outside the box when approaching strategies to meet community needs and demands. The session will examine several innovative partnerships between land banks and other entities that illustrate how land banks can be used to help communities meet economic development and educational as well as land use goals. The speakers will explain how their land banks are being utilized to help other community partners make a difference.

Speakers: Jean Derenzy, Grand Traverse County Planning and Development Office; Amy Hovey, Center for Community Progress; Dan Kildee, on leave from Center for Community Progress; Eric Schertzing, Ingham County Land Bank Authority


D. Local Efforts to Combat Blight: Foreclosure and Vacancy Ordinances
Researchers and practitioners will discuss the ways different housing markets are responding to residential foreclosure, vacancy and blight. Particular attention will be given to how communities are using local ordinances and what the impact of those ordinances has been.

Speakers:  Lavea Brachman, Greater Ohio; Thomas Fitzpatrick, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland; Adam Gross, BPI Chicago; Alan Mallach, Center for Community Progress and the Brookings Institution; Lisa Nelson, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland


E. Learning from Disaster: Reclaiming a City
As cities across the nation deal with the effects of natural and man-made disasters, communities are challenged by immediate vacancy and population loss. In some cities where populations have already been in decline, a disaster can accelerate those trends. Learn how New Orleans is an example of the challenges cities face in recovering from a disaster in the midst of long-term demographic changes, and how the city and state have developed strategies to turn around abandoned neighborhoods.

Speakers:  Nicole Heyman, Center for Community Progress; Ellen Lee, Greater New Orleans Foundation; Robert Olshansky, University of Illinois; Carey Shea, on loan from Project Home Again to the City of New Orleans

No available presentations for this session.  


F. Greening Neighborhood Plans—Community-based Partnerships in Rochester and Pittsburgh
Going green is becoming a popular policy response to the challenges of right-sizing communities with substantial and sustained population loss, as urban greening and sustainability strategies show great promise for reclaiming vacant properties in the most distressed neighborhoods of our legacy cities. The workshop will discuss how community-based organizations, nonprofits, city planners and private developers are forging new partnerships to green neighborhoods in Rochester, New York (Josana Neighborhood Master Plans) and Pittsburgh (Lamier neighborhood). Presenters will highlight a menu of green reuse ideas and discuss in depth the challenges and the benefits of using a collaborative, neighborhood-driven planning process.

Speakers: Fred Brown, Kingsley Neighborhood Association; Bret Garwood, City of Rochester; Chris Koch, GTECH Strategies; Scott Page, Interface Studio; Joe Schilling, Virginia Tech


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Thursday, June 212:00pm – 3:30pm



A. The Legacy of NSP for Public and Nonprofit Institutions
The Federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) has been a lifeline for many communities. With the program and funding coming to an end, the question is: what next? What are the lessons learned from NSP that can be used for the future? What worked and what didn’t? How are communities using the systems and resources created or garnered during the program for future efforts? Presenters will discuss how state and local governments, land banks and community development organizations used NSP to improve delivery systems and pioneer social enterprise models. The session will feature the $223 million Michigan NSP2 consortium, and innovative models from Housing Partnership Network members – the Greater Metropolitan Housing Corporation in the Twin Cities, Minnesota, and the 180° Properties workforce development enterprise of Mercy Housing Lakefront in Chicago.

Speakers:  Sarah Berke, Neighborhood Stabilization Housing Partnership Network; Jeremey Newberg, Capital Access, Inc.; William Towns, Mercy Portfolio Services


B. Economic Inclusion: Lessons Learned and Practices from Communities in Transition
With vigorous strategies being employed in ailing communities throughout the nation to tackle critical challenges – from stormwater management and transportation network improvement to greener housing and community development – there is a desire to nurture talent and grow economic opportunity in the very communities where the work is taking place. This session will explore what promising practices, policies and processes are taking place that allow people in communities that have been affected by the deep economic downturn to be participants in reviving their economy as well as their place. Among the questions to be explored are: how do we make economic opportunity inclusive of local residents, even those traditionally viewed as “hard to serve”? What do we believe is needed to achieve a scale of effort that is sustainable? In the next five years, who should be our principal government partner to get people back to work and help communities thrive? Who else should be at the table of community change and economic inclusion?

Speakers:  David Jackson, The Center for Working Families; Scot Spencer, Annie E. Casey Foundation; Cheryl Washington, East Baltimore Development Inc.


C. Making the Case for Tax Foreclosure Reform
Whether the goal is ensuring responsible control of vacant properties, ensuring that governments gain the upside as well as the downside of tax delinquencies, helping keep people in their homes or creating a funding stream for land banking activities, reform of the tax foreclosure system is on the minds of community advocates and governments across the nation. In this session, legal experts, practitioners and elected officials will discuss the need for tax foreclosure reform, as well as the goals and challenges.

Speakers:  Frank Alexander, Center for Community Progress; Bill Dodson, William H Dodson, LLC; Christine Goldbeck, Pennsylvania House of Representatives; David Lenoir, Shelby County

No available presentations for this session.


D. Vacant Auto Manufacturing Properties: Challenges and Successes
A discussion of how communities that once thrived due to the success of the U.S. auto industry This discussion focuses on how communities that once thrived due to the success of the U.S. auto industry are faring, now that many of these communities face the challenge of multiple closed factories and vacant auto manufacturing properties. The federal government established the RACER Trust to own and manage some of the properties abandoned by General Motors. How can communities, states, the federal government and the private sector work together to find solutions that will turn these vacant industrial properties into assets for community revitalization?

Speakers:  Elliott Laws, RACER Trust; Mathy Stanislaus, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Matt Ward, Sustainable Strategies DC; Jay Williams, Department of Labor

No available presentations for this session.


E. Redeveloping Neighborhoods and Revitalizing Housing Markets: A Tale of Two Cities — Baltimore and
New Bedford

Challenged with abandoned housing and neighborhood disinvestment, Baltimore, Maryland and New Bedford, Massachusetts are using creative approaches to encourage reinvestment in their neighborhoods. The City of New Bedford, working with non-profit partner TRI, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office and Massachusetts Housing Partnership, is using a number of tools including receivership to address troubled properties and to create new ownership and rental opportunities. “Vacants to Value” is Baltimore’s Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s market-driven, block-focused initiative that utilizes the private market to maximize rehabilitation of blighted properties. Strategies that include streamlined code enforcement, enhanced marketing and homebuyers’ incentives are applied depending on a block’s housing market to rehabilitate houses, revitalize markets and rebuild communities. Attendees will learn about innovations, challenges and strategies to consider in their approaches to eliminating blight.

Speakers:  Michael Braverman, Baltimore Housing; Julie Day, Baltimore Housing; Rita Farrell, Massachusetts Housing Partnership; Michael Galasso, The Resource, Inc.


F. Restoring Trust and Accountability: The Evolution of Philadelphia’s Vacant Property Systems
A lively, interactive interview with five experts, each representing a different perspective, the discussion will focus on Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter’s initiative to transform the City’s vacant property management systems. The Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations will discuss the role of advocacy in changing the City policy landscape. The Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority will discuss the City’s new data systems and the Authority’s role as the City’s “Virtual Land Bank.” The City’s Managing Director’s Office will discuss how they are holding key agencies accountable for performance. The City’s Department of Licenses and Inspections will discuss how they improved accountability by finding the owners of vacant property, stepping up enforcement and partnering with the court system. A City councilwoman will share the tough political discussions surrounding creation of a land bank for the City’s property.

Speakers:  John Carpenter, City of Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority; Bridget Collins-Greenwald, City of Philadelphia Department of Public Property; Maura Kennedy, City of Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspections; Maria Quinones-Sanchez, City of Philadelphia; Rick Sauer, Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations


Panel presentation one and two


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Thursday, June 214:00pm – 5:30pm


A. Combating Crime in Vacant Properties: Engaging Unusual Allies to Battle Vacancy
Many jurisdictions have explored how police and fire departments can contribute to vacant property strategies, yet their involvement is often relegated to traditional functions of enforcement and response. Engaging police and fire officials more proactively can be highly productive – as advocates for vacant property ordinances and foreclosure response strategies, as fundraisers for abatement initiatives and as leaders in cohesive multi-part strategies. Speakers will offer specific examples and discuss ways to engage police and fire departments facing budget constraints.

Speakers:  Officer Jason Cooley, Kansas City Missouri Police Department; Zoe Mentel, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services; Lynne Snyder, Duluth Housing Authority; John Strongitharm, City of Duluth Fire Department


B. Growing the Job Market through Property Maintenance and Retrofits
While effectively transforming vacant and abandoned properties is most often considered as a solution to blight, these activities also contribute to a sustainable jobs/workforce system. Initiatives range from property maintenance to greening vacant lots to responsible deconstruction. This session will focus on two areas that are emerging as potential mechanisms to lead the un- and under-employed back to work.

Speakers:  Rob Grossinger, Enterprise Community Partners, Inc.; Robert Klein, Safeguard Properties; John Mello, Civic Works; Chris Rintz, 180 Degree Properties


C. Land Banking Strategies without State Enabling Legislation
While state-wide land banking legislation is proceeding across the nation, governments and activists are not sitting idle until passage. Representatives from the Twin Cities, Pittsburgh and Newburgh, New York will discuss how they’re implementing land banking strategies on a regional, city-wide and neighborhood level. Most of these practitioners are working on state-enabling legislation but have realized the importance of interim strategies to deal with the vacancy and abandonment in their communities.

Speakers:  Jessica Bacher, Pace Law School Land Use Law Center; Margo Geffen, Twin Cities Community Land Bank LLC; Kim Graziani, Center for Community Progress; Kendall Pelling, East Liberty Development. Inc.; Michael J. Vatter, Esq., City of Newburgh


D. Matching Stabilization Strategies to Changing Market Conditions: What Does it Mean for Neighborhoods?
This session provides a scan of the impact foreclosures and vacancy have on strong, transitional and distressed housing markets across the country, and what it means for neighborhoods. Participants will engage in a discussion of viable solutions, as panelists explore how employment, investor activity and credit availability among other issues have impacted recovery and shaped local stabilization efforts. From trends in mortgage lending and homeownership to the challenges and opportunities in scattered site rental, panelists will discuss what is being done to address today’s challenges, who the critical players are and what is and isn’t working to create stable and healthy neighborhoods. Melding research and practice, this session is intended to provide an evidence-based examination of current conditions, viable solutions and what it means for neighborhoods undergoing profound changes.

Speakers:  Phillip Bush, Enterprise Community Partners, Inc.; Gina Govoni, Massachusetts Housing Partnership; Karen Leone de Nie, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta – Community and Economic Development Department; Abigail Mack, Homeport by Columbus Housing Partnership; Ascala Sisk, NeighborWorks® America


E. Alchemy for Resurgent Regions: Using Vacant Land to Kick Start Local Economies
Employing an interactive talk-show format, presenters will explore how philanthropy is partnering with local government and nonprofits to advance land banking and other redevelopment policies. Conversation will highlight an array of cost-effective strategies being used to ensure that communities can attain control of abandoned, vacant properties and dispose of them in ways that spur revitalization that conforms to local planning goals. Given the fiscal constraints in many of our nation’s hard-pressed communities, can this work go to scale? Panelists will tackle that question and reflect on their work in Louisiana, Ohio and New Jersey and lift up strategies that equip localities to hold, manage and dispose of properties in ways that fuse long-term economic growth and neighborhood revitalization.

Speakers:  Keith Burwell, Toledo Community Foundation; Ellen Lee, Greater New Orleans Foundation; Kristopher Smith, The Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities; Diane Sterner, Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey


F. Incorporating Place-Based Strategies into Neighborhood-Based Revitalization Efforts
Returning vacant and abandoned properties back into productive use demands a strong neighborhood commitment as well as unique partnerships with supportive organizations, government and business. Using Cleveland and Youngstown as case studies, as well as a survey of the latest research, this workshop will look at community-driven, place-based strategies that can help return vibrancy to neighborhoods where vacancy and abandonment issues exist. This interactive session will allow participants the opportunity to put place-based strategies into the context of their own cities and regions through a session-wide question and answer discussion.


Speakers: Nigel Griswold, Center for Community Progress; Ian Beniston, Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation; Tyler Borowy, Land Policy Institute; Lilah Zautner, Neighborhood Progress, Inc. 


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Friday, June 229:00am – 10:30am


A.  Dynamics and Prospects of Small Older Industrial Cities
Like their larger counterparts, small industrial cities fall into distinct categories as they create their new 21st century identities, from those that are moving forward well to those that are struggling. Join the discussion that focuses on assessing the strengths in these cities and how to intentionally leverage them for new opportunities. Speakers will draw from their experience in Allentown (PA), Danville (VA), and Lowell (MA).

Speakers:  Adam Baacke, City of Lowell Department of Planning and Development; Karen Beck Pooley, czbLLC; Joe King, City of Danville; Alan Mallach, Center for Community Progress and the Brookings Institution





B. Jumpstart Your Community: Rethinking Closed Auto Dealership Development
While much of the nation’s focus has been on home foreclosures, commercial spaces have experienced similar vacancies and abandonment. Frequently, the most visible properties are car dealerships that occupied large swaths of land and now lie vacant due to the auto industry’s reorganization. Treating this as an opportunity as well as a challenge, communities are embarking on strategies for redevelopment. This roundtable will highlight three innovative projects: the diverse coalition re-envisioning of “auto row” in Oakland, California; a revitalization study of a former car dealership in Leon Valley, Texas; and an area-wide study of closed dealerships in Long Island, New York. Panelists will highlight the challenges, opportunities, strategies and lessons learned. They will discuss many of the larger questions, including how to advance the process during fiscal crisis, authentically engage diverse stakeholders, determine the market-appropriate mix of land uses, incorporate sustainability, and maintain auto-oriented uses.

Speakers:  Donna Boyce, Sustainable Long Island; Karen Peycke, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Marla Wilson, Greenbelt Alliance


C. How to Build Regional Models to Address Vacancy and Abandonment: Pathways to City and County Collaboration
Local governments from across the country are feeling the effects of declining budgets and increasing need for public services, which often pit city and county governments against each other. Hear first-hand how collaborative regional models have been formed in Georgia, Illinois and New York to address vacancy and abandonment.

Speakers:  Chris Norman, Fulton County-City of Atlanta Land Bank Authority, GA; Adam Ortiz, Prince George’s County, MD; Maria Whyte, Erie County, NY; Katie Sabo, Cook County, IL


D. Redevelopment Incentives and Innovative Financing
Now more than ever, it is necessary to identify incentives and innovative financing techniques for the reuse of distressed and abandoned buildings, neighborhoods and infrastructure. This session will focus on examples of redevelopment projects that have employed various grants, tax credits, and financing techniques that have leveraged finite local resources for a broader area benefit. Panelists will discuss their experiences and the benefits of using Brownfield incentives, Environmental Remediation Tax Credits, Historic Tax Credits, Residential and Commercial Tax Credits, Bond Financing, Investor Equity, Tax Increment Finance Districts and other state and federal grant programs to leverage and facilitate development.

Speakers:  Scott Bishop, Stoss Landscape Urbanism; Michael Freeman, Center for Community Progress; Richard Karp, Karp and Associates; Gary Sands, Wayne State University


E. Transforming Communities and Stimulating Economies Through Urban Agriculture: What Have We Learned?
With a surfeit of vacant land and an absence of available fresh foods, many cities are turning to urban agriculture to address both issues. Are such attempts stopgap land use or food supply tactics? Is there a place for long-term, large-scale urban agriculture? This roundtable will focus both on the varied experiences of practitioners from across the country and the underlying questions about “highest and best use” of land, legal and regulatory ramifications, and economic and other impacts by scale.

Speakers:  Chris Harrell, Lazarus Group; Edwin Marty, Hampsted Institute; Angie Miller, Community Action Duluth; Julia Prange Wallerce, Local Initiatives Support Corporation; Tim Tramble, Burten, Bell, Carr Development, Inc.


F. Creative Partnerships for New Municipal Approaches to Code Enforcement and Nuisance Abatement
Code enforcement and nuisance abatement actions can address a wide variety of problem properties including distressed bank REO, investment properties being flipped and vacant commercial buildings. However, as cities around the nation face constrained resources, achieving meaningful results requires new ideas and innovative partnerships. This session will examine two efforts underway. In Tennessee, Mayor A C Wharton, Jr. and County Environmental Court Judge Larry E. Potter are re-engineering community court programs and expanding them to cover the whole county. A cooperative effort involving the city attorney, the district attorney, the police and the sheriff, as well as a re-imagined code enforcement office, is yielding promising preliminary results. Michigan Community Resources and the Michigan Municipal League are taking a different approach with the Detroit Pilot Nuisance Abatement Litigation Program. This model tests a new legal strategy through which community-based nonprofits act as plaintiffs in public nuisance lawsuits on behalf of the larger community, independently and in partnership with municipalities. Housed in a legal services nonprofit, this program highlights the benefits and potential obstacles faced by organizations managing code enforcement systems in place of public entities with reduced capacity.

Speakers: Patrick Dandridge, City of Memphis; Samira Guyot, Michigan Community Resources; Kermit Lind, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Cleveland State University; Sean Mann, Michigan Municipal League; The Honorable Larry Potter, Shelby County Environmental Court




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Friday, June 22 10:45am – 12:15pm



A. Purchasing Paper for Scalable Intervention: Using Non-Performing Note Purchases to Fuel Comprehensive Neighborhood Stabilization Strategies
New and bold initiatives by some of the nation’s leading non-profits are working to directly attack the root of neighborhood instability and increase the scalability and impact of community stabilization efforts. In collaboration with the federal and various state governments, Mercy Housing, Enterprise Community Partners, National Council of La Raza, National Community Stabilization Trust and the Housing Partnership Network are forging new socially-motivated and geographically-focused systems to buy non-performing mortgages, with the goal of helping homeowners keep their homes through modifications or ensuring there is a safety net to responsibly renew and reuse properties in the community. This session will create an open dialogue among local practitioners on the opportunities and challenges this new strategy creates in communities, and will provide an inside look at non-performing note purchase programs with non-profit organizations at the helm.

Speakers:  Annie Carvalho, National Community Stabillization Trust; Danny Gardner, National Community Stabilization Trust; William Goldsmith, Mercy Portfolio Services;  Matthew Perrenod, Housing Partnership Network


B. Engaging the Next Generation of Community Advocates
Young community advocates are organizing and engaging their generation to create more equitable and sustainable cities. What are their tactics? Who are their partners? And how have they empowered people outside the establishment? By sharing first-hand experiences and individual objectives, this panel will discuss how cities can benefit from the energy and ideas of the next generation of local leaders.

Speakers:  Ariella Cohen, Next American City; Sarah Filley, Popuphood; Jenga Mwendo, Backyard Gardeners Network; Dominic Robinson, CenterState CEO



C. Mixed-Use Neighborhoods as Economic Engines: A Transatlantic Perspective on the Reuse of Former Industrial Sites
Abandonment of residential and commercial properties is not a solely American phenomenon. In fact, cities throughout the world are experiencing and grappling with repurposing land and buildings in ways that will support their next economies. Featuring speakers from cities in Spain, Germany and the United States, as well as the German Marshall Fund, this session will explore key lessons to be learned from several large-scale redevelopment projects in former industrial neighborhoods in Europe. Among the case studies discussed will be Barcelona’s 22@ District, formerly home to the city’s textile industry, which has benefited from a highly effective partnership between city zoning officials, project managers, and the local economic development agency, Barcelona Activa, whose incubators and entrepreneurship support center form the centerpiece of the new neighborhood.

Speakers:  The Honorable John Callahan, City of Bethlehem, PA; Tamar Shapiro, German Marshall Fund; Josep Pique, Barcelona Activa; Thorsten Wiechmann, Technical University Dortmund


D. Restoring Land to Productive Use through Cargo-Oriented Development and Transit-Oriented Development
Amid great changes in the nation’s economic structure, rail and inter-modal activity represents a thriving and growing sector, with such facilities located throughout urban areas. The session will focus on strategies for cities to regain prosperity by redeveloping vacant and underutilized land around key freight and passenger transportation assets. Learning objectives will include conceptual understandings of cargo-oriented development (COD) and transit-oriented development (TOD), and the economic and environmental value of implementing the two simultaneously; the benefits of regional collaboration; and solutions to development barriers, including land acquisition, brownfields reclamation and infrastructure improvements. Regional strategies to implement COD and TOD will be discussed, including the Chicago Southland Green TIME (Transit, Intermodal, Manufacturing and Environment) Zone, which has generated millions of dollars in public and private investment, and more recent efforts in Wood River, Illinois and Knoxville, Tennessee.

Speakers:  David Chandler, Center for Neighborhood Technology; Reggie Greenwood, South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association; Robert Kerns, Wallace Roberts & Todd, LLC; CJ Rog, MI-Jack Products


E. Balancing Preservation and Revitalization
As communities throughout the country continue to struggle with the housing crisis and, in some cases, decades of population loss, they are also struggling with preserving their valuable historic and cultural neighborhoods and buildings. Decisions and strategies about how, and even if, to preserve these resources have long been points of discussion that are playing out in many cities. This session – lead by practitioners with a range of experiences – will explore how and when historic preservation can stimulate recovery and revitalization, strategies for informed decision-making, and discuss multi-pronged efforts for long-term community stability.

Speakers:  Lucinda Flowers, City of New Orleans City Planning Commission; Michelle Kimball, Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans; Hunter Morrison, Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium


F. Just Add Water: Greening Cities through Stormwater Management
A number of American cities with older water and sewer infrastructure are using vacant land to manage stormwater runoff. In recent years, the U.S. EPA has recognized that retrofitting these cities helps meet water quality standards, and that reusing vacant land creates amenities for the community. This workshop will address the challenges and opportunities associated with managing stormwater on public and vacant land, provide an overview of the regulatory context, and look at two case studies. In Cleveland, the U.S. EPA is using an adaptive management approach in collaboration with residents in the Slavic Village neighborhood, gathering data to use as a basis for developing a green infrastructure plan on residential blocks. Philadelphia is undertaking an ambitious plan to promote green infrastructure adoption on public and private land over a 252-block neighborhood of over 10,000 lots, three-quarters of which are residential, and 18.5 percent of which are vacant. Syracuse/Onondaga County’s plan to address land use challenges in a legacy city, which calls for the county to prevent at least 95 percent of storm runoff from reaching waterways by 2018 through a combination of methods including green infrastructure.

Speakers: Dr. Ahjond Garmestani, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Chariss McAfee, Charles Loomis Chariss McAfee Architects; Dr. Franco Monalto, PhD, Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering, Drexel University; Sam Sage, Atlantic States Legal Foundation



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