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You are here: Home / Urban Forest Connections Webinar / Unearthing Potential: Vacant land challenges, solutions, and opportunities

Unearthing Potential: Vacant land challenges, solutions, and opportunities

A vacant lot is revitalized and repurposed into a pocket park.

Unearthing Potential: Vacant land challenges, solutions, and opportunities
October 12, 2016

Kevin Schronce, City of Flint, Michigan
Amber Knee, Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
Michelle Kondo, USDA Forest Service

Post-industrial urban areas across the U.S. have experienced population decline, leaving them with derelict, vacant, and underutilized land. For both residents and visitors alike, these vacant properties cause major health and safety issues, contribute negatively to a sense of community well-being, and cause spiraling neighborhood decline, including lower property values and neighborhood disinvestment. Urban planners, community organizations, and government officials have the opportunity to assist communities in reclaiming or repurposing this vacant land, either for temporary or permanent uses. This webinar will present research findings and model approaches to addressing issues associated with commercial and residential vacant properties, with an emphasis on zoning and urban greening strategies. Kevin Schronce will present innovations from the Imagine Flint Master Plan for a Sustainable Flint, and will share how Flint, Michigan is poised to implement this 20-year community plan through the efforts of the Genesee County Land Bank Authority. Amber Knee will share work of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Societyís Philadelphia LandCare program, which stabilizes and maintains 12,000 vacant lots in low income areas. Michelle Kondo will present new findings on the economic, public health, and public safety benefits of managing vacant land that may help you to advocate more effectively for green space, even in the most unlikely of places.

Presentations

Imagine Flint: Master plan for a sustainable Flint (PDF)
Kevin Schronce
Lead Planner
City of Flint, Michigan

Green Jobs and Safer Neighborhoods (PDF)
Amber Knee
Program Manager, Philadelphia LandCare Program
Pennsylvania Horticultural Society

Vacant Land in the US; Research on Vacant Land and Public Health and Safety (PDF)
Michelle Kondo
Social Scientist
USDA Forest Service

Resources

Resources Mentioned in the Webinar

Imagine Flint Master Plan for a Sustainable Flint
Check out Flintís comprehensive master plan, its first since 1960.

Decision-Making Guide for Aligning Property Sales with the Imagine Flint Master Plan for a Sustainable Flint
This guide serves as the Genesee County Land Bankís process for selling property in alignment with the City of Flintís master plan.

Philadelphia LandCare Program
Learn more about the beneficial outcomes of Pennsylvania Horticultural Societyís Philadelphia LandCare Program.

Michigan Youth Violence Prevention Center
The Centerís current research studies the effects of vacant property improvements on violence, property crimes and intentional injuries in three U.S. cities: Flint, Michigan; Youngstown, Ohio; and Camden, New Jersey.

US Forest Service Resources

Research on Vacant Land and Public Health and Safety
Michelle Kondo provides links to her research on vacant lots.

Green Pattern Book
The Green Pattern Book is used to guide the greening of vacant land. It can spur creative ideas while also managing expectations and helping different groups that work with vacant lots understand how they can effectively partner with each other.