Reclaiming Vacant Properties Conference

Staff attorney Amy Laura Cahn to present on open space land advocacy and adaptive approaches to working with local government on Thursday, May 21.

The 2015 Reclaiming Vacant Properties Conference is a three-day conference in Detroit, MI, that will explore the latest tools to combat vacancy and move beyond neighborhood blight, as well as how government officials, community leaders, and others in the field can join forces across departments, cities, and even states to achieve wide-scale positive change.

Staff attorney Amy Laura Cahn is taking part in a panel on day three, “Open Space Land Advocacy: Adaptive approaches to working with local government. Click here to register.

Reclaiming Vacant Properties Conference
May 19-21, 2015
Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center
400 Renaissance Drive
Detroit, MI 48265
Click here to register!

From the Center for Community Progress:

New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore have thriving urban agriculture and resident-led greening movements – in very different political environments. The cities differ in the abundance of vacant land and how city government values it, leading local organizations to take different strategies to achieve policy change and on-the-ground results.

In this session, advocates from these cities will compare and contrast the nuts-and-bolts of their local strategies. These organizations’ accomplishments include establishing a $1 price for the transfer of city-owned land in community use to qualified land trusts; contributing to the successful passage of a land bank ordinance; ensuring gardener and farmer stakeholder input in city policy; and connecting dozens of groups of neighbors to the opportunity to create new community spaces in open-space-poor communities citywide.

The organizations have created useful data tools that support their advocacy. 596 Acres built an organizing tool to help advocates contextualize “open” data and transform it into information that can guide local activists. Garden Justice Legal Initiative has adopted 596’s platform to help understand community needs and inform city policy and garden preservation and support programs. Baltimore Green Space tracks data on Baltimore’s community-managed open spaces and uses this information to request that the City not sell specific lots, as well as for research and advocacy.

Using this content as a starting point, participants will engage with questions such as which approaches might work best in participants’ cities and trade-offs among approaches. Participants will leave with fresh ideas for open space advocacy in their own communities.